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Mar 3, 2016 3:51 PM

Fundraising for Concord memorial to John Gilbert Winant enters phase two

CONCORD - Fundraising for a statue and plaza to honor former governor and ambassador John Gilbert Winant is heading into its next phase.

The plan calls for a bronze statue that invites visitors to share a park bench with Winant outside the N.H. State Library. Organizers say $165,000 in donations and pledges have been received for the creation of the statue.

The final phase involves raising money for a plaza that will surround the statue. Designed to be accessible to the disabled, the plaza would feature panels that describe Winant's accomplishments. Organizers say an additional $100,000 will be required to complete this part of the project.

Winant was governor of New Hampshire during the Great Depression and was known for quietly giving away 50-cent pieces to homeless people in Concord, allowing them to buy a hot meal and a place to stay for the night. As ambassador to Great Britain, he would walk through London after bombings, personally assisting citizens on the streets of the capital.

“It would have been easy for Winant to live a life of privilege, but he instead chose to be a wonderful public servant,” said Concord state Rep. Steve Shurtleff, chair of the Winant Memorial Committee. “The memorial will be a fitting tribute to a man who spent his time helping – and listening to – people no matter what their circumstances were.”

A website has been set up with more information about the Winant statue, including how to contribute.

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