Marvin “Preach” Webb
EDWARDSVILLE — The Greater Edwardsville Area Community Foundation (GEACF) is lending a helping hand to a community project.
The foundation has set up a Community Support Fund for the “Preach on Main” project, a community undertaking dedicated to Edwardsville’s greatly admired citizen and unofficial ambassador of the city, Marvin “Preach” Webb.
There are plans in the works for a bronze statue of Preach to be created, and it is to be funded mostly by private donations. The GEACF has established the Preach on Main Fund to accept donations for this project. The fund-raising goal for this project is $85,000.
“We are excited for this project to get under way and are so proud to be a part of it,” said Patty Navin, foundation chairman for GEACF. “Preach has been a huge part of the city of Edwardsville, and we want to show our gratitude for all the kindness he has expressed to everyone throughout the years.”
Preach is known for being a happy-go-lucky citizen who traverses Edwardsville’s Main Street, carrying out errands and talking to just about everyone he encounters. More than 70 years old, Preach is fondly known as “Mr. Edwardsville” and happily welcomes all who are visiting or new to town while catching up with settled-in residents. He has been doing this for over seven decades.
The statue would mostly likely be placed on the iron bench in front of the Madison County Transit District station on North Main; however, there are two additional locations open as options, including a bench a block or so south of the station and another in front of the Wildey Theatre.
Local sculptor Ned Giberson, who made the statue of Robert Wadlow, will be creating the statue of Preach.
The statue will eventually be donated to the city of Edwardsville, and the city will be responsible for annual maintenance.
The Greater Edwardsville Area Community Foundation, established in 1997, is a charitable trust that receives, manages and distributes tax-deductible charitable contributions for the benefit of the greater Edwardsville area communities and its residents. The Greater Edwardsville Area Community Foundation is dedicated to the enhancement and betterment of the quality of life in Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Hamel, Moro, Dorsey, Worden and the surrounding areas.
To donate to the fund or for more information, call (855) GO-GEACF or visit the website at www.edwardsvillefoundation.org.