Hey Bulldog: Student artist, online donations make statue

Photo from Gofundme.com Hancock High School senior student artist Ryan Kaipio poses with his completed creation, a mold of bulldog statues to be displayed at the middle school and high school. The district is accepting donations at gofundme.com/buildthebulldog to pay for the casting.

HANCOCK — Nearing the $1,200 donation goal days after it went up, funding for a bulldog statue for Hancock Public School is within reach.

The goal is to have a physical symbol for the school, creating a symbol and legacy, explained Principal Ezekiel Ohan, who worked with high school art teacher Sarah Grieger to develop the project.

“Especially if it was done by a Bulldog for a Bulldog,” he said.

Senior student Ryan Kaipio was chosen to create the mold for the project.

“I was surprised and honored,” Kaipio said. “This is definitely the biggest project I’ve done.”

Photo from Gofundme.com Shown here is the bulldog statue mold, ready for casting after six weeks of work. The statute was created by Ryan Kaipio. The Hancock Schools District is seeking donations to pay for the metal, materials and various other costs to make two castings, with one to be displayed at the high school and one at the middle school.

Selected for his hard-working attitude and talent with 3-D art and sculpture, Kaipio began the work after Thanksgiving break and continued until about Christmas.

“I really had a blast making the whole entire thing,” Kaipio said.

The next step is creating a metal casting from the mold. This is where financial support was needed, prompting Grieger to appeal to the local community to contribute to a Gofundme page.

The metal is expected to cost $750, with at least an additional $450 in other expenses and materials, according to the Gofundme page.

“The costs were really reduced tremendously by the fact that our very own student did the work (and) our very own department supplied the materials,” Ohan said.

However, there are some costs for the technical skill and materials required for the next stage.

“Everyone that donates is helping the statue stay out there for many decades and many years to come. Many people will see it and it’s going to be a legacy for whoever helps,” Kaipio said.

As things stand now, Ohan hopes to see two statues, one for the high school and the other for the middle school.

The football field was determined to not be a good location for the statue, since it is shared. He expects the bulldogs will be on display for many years to come.

“(We’re) creating a tradition and an understanding of what the bulldog represents,” he said. “Now it’s embodied, now it’s tangible.”

The Gofundme page is still accepting contributions at gofundme.com/buildthebulldog.