by Barb Wilson, Special to the Carson Valley Times · 2 min read
GENOA, Nev. — The 100th anniversary of the Genoa Candy Dance will be in 2019.
To commemorate this historic event, a life-size bronze statue of Lillian Virgin Finnegan, who organized the first “candy dance”, will be erected in the Town of Genoa in 2019. The statue will honor Lillian and the hundreds of volunteers who have worked tirelessly over the years to organize the annual Genoa Candy Dance events. The 1919 event raised funds to purchase Genoa’s first street lights. Today, the Genoa Candy Dance is a major fundraiser that supports the Town of Genoa’s annual budget.
The Centennial Genoa Candy Dance Statue Project committee, chaired by Gail Teig, is working with the Town of Genoa and the Friends of Genoa nonprofit organization to bring this statue to the community. The project will be funded entirely by donations and fundraising events.
The artist, Debrine Lim Smedley, is donating her time to create the sculpture. A committee consisting of Genoa Town Board members and representatives of the Statue Project committee are currently working on selecting the site where the statue will be installed.
Debrine has completed a small clay model of the statue, depicting Lillian offering candy on a silver tray at the 1919 event. Later this year, she will take the model to the Bronzesmith Fine Art Foundry & Gallery in Prescott Valley, Arizona, where she will work with the foundry to enlarge the model and create the 7-foot clay sculpture for the statue. Once the enlargement is completed, the foundry will make casting molds and complete bronze casting of the statue by early 2019.
The fundraising effort to support the Statue Project began in June. Donors who contribute $200 will be acknowledged on personalized, engraved bricks that will installed near the statue; donors who contribute $1000 or more will be acknowledged on a plaque, which will be displayed near the statue. Donations will be processed by Friends of Genoa, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.