Bronze Mary McLeod Bethune statue coming to Daytona Beach park

Volusia County Council approved a contribution to the statue

A look at the bronze statue of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, which will eventually be displayed at Riverfront Esplanade Park in Daytona Beach. (Mary McLeod Bethune Statuary Project, Mary McLeod Bethune Statuary Project)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A bronze statue of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune is coming to a new park in Daytona Beach, and the Volusia County Council is helping to pay for it.

The council approved a $25,000 contribution Tuesday to help pay for a bronze statue of the educator, suffragette and civil rights activist.

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The statue is a smaller, bronze version of the marble statue of Bethune that is headed to the U.S. Capitol to represent Florida in Statuary Hall.

That 8-foot-tall bronze statue will stand on a marble pedestal at the new Bethune Pavilion at the Riverfront Esplanade Park, which is currently under construction. The statue will face west in the direction of Bethune-Cookman University, the school Bethune founded.

According to Nancy Lohman and the Mary McLeod Bethune Statuary Project, the statue costs $150,000 to sculpt, and another $30,000 to $60,000 for the pedestal.

The money will come from Volusia County’s ECHO program, which helps fund environmental, cultural, historic and outdoor recreation projects for public use.

The bronze statue will be unveiled on Aug. 18. The group behind the statue also plans to debut a new feature-length documentary on Bethune’s life.

The marble statue, meanwhile, will be unveiled at the U.S. Capitol building on July 13.

About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.