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$3,505 pledged of $130,000 goal
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By Jim Johnson
$3,505 pledged of $130,000 goal
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About this project

HERE'S WHY:

For 20 years actor James Arness portrayed Marshal Matt Dillon on the TV show GUNSMOKE, the longest running TV western and drama of all time. His character was iconic across America until the show finished in 1975 and introduced us to literally hundreds of new actors and actresses who subsequently became stars in their own right. Matt Dillon became every boy's idol and hero inspiring a generation of honest, straight shooters. To date, GUNSMOKE has been denied its rightful place in the Television Academy Hall of Fame making it all the more important that we memorialize it with a statue of Matt Dillon. We remain stunned that this, "Best TV Western" of all is not represented. 

THE PROJECT:

The Dodge City Trail of Fame in Dodge City, KS is now ready to commission New York artist Tony Cipriano to do a life sized sculpture of James Arness as Matt Dillon which will join similar sculptures of Wyatt Earp and "Doc" Holliday in the National Historic District.  Essentially, it will be a "Return To Dodge" for Matt Dillon honoring the late, great James Arness as one of the most important characters who helped put historic Dodge City on the map.

Below are images of the Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday sculptures and below that are images of the Matt Dillon maquette!  Take a look!

"Doc" Holliday by Janet Zoble
"Doc" Holliday by Janet Zoble
Wyatt S. Earp by Mary Spurgeon surveys the Dodge City Historic District
Wyatt S. Earp by Mary Spurgeon surveys the Dodge City Historic District

Once the Matt Dillon sculpture is installed there will be a huge dedication ceremony and banquet and Arness family members and Jim's many, many friends and fans will be in attendance. We anticipate a whole line of Hollywood luminaries who got their start on GUNSMOKE to attend! Special donors to the project will also be honored at the ceremony and all donors will be listed!  

HOW:

This project will be financed through Kickstarter and various grants which will help cover the estimated total cost of $130,000. We need help from GUNSMOKE fans everywhere to make this happen! Backers who pledge $5,000 will earn a special reward - a 24" tall limited edition bronze of the life sized sculpture. Check out the Rewards segment of this project to see a list of all the great rewards we've lined up at values from $25 and up.  Please note that if we do not reach the project goal in 30 days, no money will change hands and all pledges will be cancelled....  so PLEASE help us out as soon as possible!  

Here are some images of a few of the rewards...

The Maquette of Matt Dillon by Tony Cipriano
The Maquette of Matt Dillon by Tony Cipriano
11" tall bust of Matt Dillon
11" tall bust of Matt Dillon
Ben Costello hard cover book on GUNSMOKE
Ben Costello hard cover book on GUNSMOKE
Buck Taylor water color print "He Kept The Lid On Dodge".
Buck Taylor water color print "He Kept The Lid On Dodge".
24" Maquette by Tony Cipriano
24" Maquette by Tony Cipriano

Portions of backers donations made through the Dodge City Trail of Fame through the KickStarter project are considered tax deducible contributions to a 501(c)(3) charitable, non-profit. Consult your tax accountant for clarification.

KEEPING YOU INFORMED:

A weekly email news letter to backers will inform them of progress on the project. Updates will also be available on the Dodge City Trail of Fame website and the project Facebook page. The target for the installation, banquet and dedication ceremony in Dodge City is mid, 2015.   More information is available via email to: info@dodgecitytrailoffame.org  or on the website at:  www.dodgecitytrailoffame.org  or Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/mattdillonstatue    Call us at 620-561-1925, 620-408-6877, or 620-225-4703

Risks and challenges

The Dodge City Trail of Fame is uniquely qualified to fulfill this project. The organization is known for installing twenty eight 2 foot diameter sidewalk medallions throughout the historic district commemorating Dodge City denizens, both historic and Hollywood. Additionally they have commissioned and installed life sized sculptures of Wyatt Earp (raised $83,000) and Doc Holliday (raised $45,000) in the National Historic District of Dodge City. The organization has been in existence for 12 years and continues to provide free historic walking tours of historic Old Dodge City in addition to the statuary. They maintain ties with "GUNSMOKE" luminaries including actors Buck Taylor (Newly) and Roger Ewing (Thad) and Mrs. Janet Arness - "How the West Was Won" actor Bruce Boxlietner and also GUNSMOKE writer Jim Byrnes.

The Dodge City Trail of Fame, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable, non-profit all volunteer organization and will be drawing on all its contacts across the USA in this latest effort. We have raised over $300,000 in the past for projects and except for the artist we are all volunteers without pay.

Please help us raise the necessary funding for this wonderful project. Help us preserve the legacy of this TV program and Marshal Matt Dillon, the idol and hero of a generation of young boys who grew up from the mid 1950s through the 1980s. The biggest obstacle we face is that you won't make a pledge and won't pass this KickStarter page on to all your friends.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Beautiful GUNSMOKE plaque identical to the ones on the base of the Matt Dillon bust. Can be used as a key fob or tag or in many other ways to show your dedication to GUNSMOKE! 3.5" x 1"

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Signed picture of artist Tony Cipriano with his 24" tall miniature (maquette) of the James Arness Sculpture

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    The Arness family for many years has produced a series of special limited issue coffee mugs for GUNSMOKE fans. We have 100 of these mugs for the GUNSMOKE 60th Anniversary available and you can have one for a pledge of just $30!

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    A combination of rewards 1, 2 & 3 - GUNSMOKE tag, signed picture of 24" miniature with artist Tony Cipriano and the unique special GUNSMOKE coffe mug from the Arness family.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Janet Arness (Mrs. James Arness) will personally sign a picture of she and Jim for you.

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Everything in Reward #4 plus a picture of Jim and Janet Arness personally signed by Janet Arness!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    A brick engraved with backer's name placed around the base of the life sized James Arness (Matt Dillon) sculpture in Dodge City

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $260 or more About $260

    Everything in Reward #6 plus an brick engraved with your name to be placed around the life sized statue in Dodge City!

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Hardcover book "GUNSMOKE: An American Institution" signed by author Ben Costello

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $360 or more About $360

    Everything in Reward #8 PLUS a hardbacked copy of Ben Costello's book - "GUNSMOKE, An American Institution" signed by the author

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    9" tall bust of 'Matt Dillon' by Tony Cipriano in faux bronze finish - virtually indistinguishable from bronze. Identical to the life sized sculpture to be dedicated in Dodge City

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Numbered, limited edition print of James Arness as Matt Dillon, "He Kept The Lid on Dodge" by award winning western artist and GUNSMOKE cast member Buck Taylor.

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    24" tall unpainted grey maquette of Matt Dillon (James Arness) - a miniature of the life sized bronze sculpture which will stand in Dodge City

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    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    Everything in Reward #10 PLUS the unpainted grey maquette from Reward #13

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    24" tall resin maquette painted in a faux bronze finish (virtually indistinguishable from bronze). Identical to the life sized sculpture which will stand in historic Old Dodge City. Included will be a personal invitation to the dedication ceremony and banquet in Dodge City when the statue is put in place.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Everything in Reward #14 PLUS a 24" tall resin maquette painted in a faux bronze finish (virtually indistinguishable from bronze). Identical to the life sized sculpture which will stand in historic Old Dodge City. Included will be a personal invitation to the dedication ceremony and banquet in Dodge City when the statue is put in place.a

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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    24" tall bronze maquette identical to the life sized sculpture which will stand in historic Old Dodge City. Included will be a personal invitation to the dedication ceremony and banquet in Dodge City when the statue is put in place.

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Funding period

- (30 days)