On Sept. 20, 2019, co-chairs of “Restore Our Coke Sign: Bring Art and History Downtown,” Linda Kolmodin and Janet Domingo, launched a fundraiser in the hopes of raising enough money to restore the Coca-Cola mural downtown.
Now, not only is the Coca Cola mural on track to be repainted, but two additional art projects, a tee ball statue and a Malleable mural, are also set to be added to downtown Albion.
In 1983, Kolmidin, along with fellow Albion residents Mary Margaret Moore and Polly Ballou, launched and advertised a successful fundraiser to have the Coca-Cola Mural repainted.
Upon seeing the mural start to fade again this past year, Koldmidin looked to partner with Domingo to launch another fundraiser campaign for the sign’s restoration.
Estimating the restoration would cost to be about $30,000, Kolmidin and Domingo went to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to request a matching fund grant from Patronicity.
After launching the campaign, Koldmine and Domingo raised $50,000, a number that was then doubled by the matching fund grant. Coca-Cola also made a $7,500 donation.
“Coca-Cola Co. USA and our local bottling partner that serves the Albion Community, Great Lakes Coca-Cola Bottling, are pleased to help support the restoration of the iconic Coca-Cola mural overlooking the Kalamazoo River in downtown Albion,” said Coca-Cola’s public relations representative, Kevin Morris. “We would like to thank the Albion Community Foundation and volunteers for leading this effort. We look forward to celebrating the sign restoration’s completion.”
Domingo and Kolmidin were able to obtain the Patronicity matching fund grant by adding two additional art projects to the downtown area, leading them to craft the idea of the tee ball statue and the Malleable mural.
Tee Ball Player Statue
Located in the beautification lot across from the library, the bronze statue will depict a boy playing tee ball.
“We decided we wanted to honor youth sports, so we decided that tee ball would be a really good symbol for youth sports,” said Kolmidin.
The statue is also meant to honor the late Jerry Sacharski, Albion resident and organizer of the first tee ball league.
Constructed by muralist Kimber Thompson,this 3D mural will depict the inner workings of Malleable Iron company and will be located on the side of Albion Malleable Brewing Company.
Domingo and Kolmodin Plan on having the projects completed before the Festival of the Forks.