Rec. Statue of Park Rod Serling closer to reality

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A statue of Binghamton’s son, author and playwright Rod Serling walking through an imaginative gate at West Side Leisure Park is closer to reality.

New York State Assemblyman Donna Lupardo (D-52 Endwell) announced at weekend events at the Rod Serling Festival that a $50,000 grant has been secured for the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation.

Photo courtesy of New York State Assembly Donna Lupardo

Photo courtesy of New York State Assembly Donna Lupardo

The Democrat says it’s important to recognize how important the theme park was to Serling’s life both growing up in Binghamton and later when he used the park as inspiration in the episode of The “Twilight Zone” titled “Walking Distance”.

The foundation has been working for several years to raise funds for a statue to be placed in the neighborhood where Serling lived, played and rode the carousel.

A marker is already in place in front of Binghamton High School commemorating Serling as a graduate of the school and the high school theater is named after Serling’s acting teacher, Helen Foley.

Organizers of the effort to raise a statue say a marker has nothing to do with a likeness of the author placed in a place he loved.

The Rod Serling Memorial Foundation has implemented a number of strategies in an attempt to raise funds, including a GoFundMe campaign and through the foundation’s website.

The state grant is helping a lot to move the effort forward, but organizers say they still need to raise $25,000 to finish the statue and place it in the park.

At this point, it is expected that the statue could be completed next year as the rest of the money is collected.

For more information on the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation, visit https://rodserling.com/

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