110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Joe Crews
posted Dec 18, 2013 - 10:12:36am
A group of business people, sports fans and former players has plans to immortalize longtime West Volusia sports editor Roger Gilmore — in bronze.
Gilmore died in his DeLand home Oct. 22. He was 84. His professional sports-writing career began on Groundhog Day 1959, and continued until his death, albeit on a reduced basis in the last few months.
“We want a full-blown statue with a camera around his neck and a clipboard or notebook in his hand,” Downtown DeLand businessman Gus Gibbs said. “We want to put it somewhere in Spec Martin Stadium or somewhere in Conrad Park.”
DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar said those are options, but there are others, as well, such as Roger Gilmore Field in the Little League complex.
“Roger was a big part of my life, so I’m going to help bring this to fruition in any way I can,” Apgar said. “But the final decision will be up to the city manager and/or the City Commission.”
Apgar said whether it’s a statue or just a bust, the sculpture should be at a site where a lot of people will see it, and the location should be identified with Gilmore.
“From my perspective, it’s a very nice gesture by those people who want to donate money to honor and recognize Roger,” Apgar said.
Gibbs said the group is still trying to nail down how much the statue will cost. One sculptor offered to do the work for $10,000; another initially said it would cost $155,000, but has since lowered his estimate to $25,000 plus costs.
“But he hasn’t come back with how much those costs are,” Gibbs said.
Whatever the figure, Gibbs doesn’t believe it will be difficult to raise the money.
“A lot of people will donate,” he said. “There’s even talk about approaching [retired pro football player] Trey Thomas or [retired pro baseball player] Chipper Jones to see if they’ll contribute.”
Both ex-pros grew up in West Volusia and were covered by Gilmore during Gilmore’s career of more than five decades.
Anyone interested in the effort more information may call Gibbs at his business, Gibbs for Men, at 386-736-0777.
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