Philadelphia, September 12, 2012 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter joined members of the Frazier family outside City Hall this afternoon to announce efforts to secure funding for a Joe Frazier Memorial statue. The fundraising goal is $150,000, which includes a maintenance fund for upkeep. A committee, lead by members of the Frazier family, will invite local and nationally know sculptors to submit proposals, from which they will select the final design for the memorial. The project completion date is slotted for the end of 2013.
Mayor Nutter emphasized the importance of brining this memorial to fruition in the City of Philadelphia. “Joe Frazier was a man who truly embodied what the Philadelphia spirit is all about. We’re a gritty, straight-talking town with a ‘never say die’ attitude, a city that has its challenges but never gives up. Joe embodied that spirit, understanding it’s not how many times you get knocked down but rather how many times you get back up. And Joe always got back up. He was dignity and grace outside the ring, always with a quick smile, always helpful to as many people as possible. He supported so many city causes and always focused on young people.
“Now, it’s our turn as a city and region to come together to remember this great man,” said Mayor Nutter. “We must raise a statue in honor of him in the City of Philadelphia. I am very hopeful that people will contribute generously to this cause. Joe Frazier fought as a Philadelphian. Now, it’s our turn to fight for Joe’s memory by erecting a statue that captures his indomitable spirit.”
Renae Frazier-Martin, daughter of the late Joe Frazier, echoed Mayor Nutter’s sentiments. “To my brothers and sisters and me, he was Pop, Daddy, and Padre. To the world, he was Smokin’ Joe Frazier, the United States Olympic Heavyweight Gold Medalist of 1964, the Heavyweight Champion of the world. To the City of Philadelphia, he was just Joe. He lived here, worked here, built here, worshiped here, taught here, gave here, and don’t forget, he partied here. And as much as our father loved the City of Philadelphia, he loved the world and he loved people from all walks of life. This is why it’s such a privilege to be able to honor his memory with a statue right here in the City of Philadelphia.”
The developers of XfinityLive! Philadelphia, the Cordish Company and Comcast Spectacor, offered to host the statue outside the XfinityLive! Philadelphia complex in South Philadelphia. The Cordish Company announced the first donation to the fundraising effort with a contribution of $25,000. Contributions will be managed by the City of Philadelphia’s non-profit organization, The Fund for Philadelphia.
“The Cordish Companies and Comcast Spectacor are honored to have the Frazier statue located at the XfinityLive! Philadelphia site,” said Jeffrey Snyder, Development Director of XfinityLive! Philadelphia and representative of the Cordish Company. “And in order to get this project jump-started, XfinityLive! is proud to contribute funds towards the design, construction and instillation of the statue.”
For more information, or to donate to the memorial fund, please visit www.frazierstatue.com.