At a modest ceremony in Ronald Reagan Sports Park (FRRSP) last month, a 22” bronze bust of President Ronald Reagan was presented to the Temecula Town Association (TTA) in appreciation for making the largest single donation to the Reagan Can-Do Monument that now graces the park today.
Kay Sterling, who with her husband John headed the group, received the bust, an exact copy of the bust portion of sculptor Chris Pardell’s Reagan statue and Monument. The group disbanded in early 2000, and later donated their remaining funds, $40,000, to FRRSP. The Sterlings also personally donated $1,000 each. John was unable to attend because of illness.
Making the presentation was Perry Peters, president and founder of FRRSP, which raised funds that enabled the first phase to be completed. “Reagan is now smiling at a void,” said Peters, “but when the Monument is finished, he will be looking with approval at a husband, wife, son and daughter, working diligently at planting and weeding to help build the park without using government tax money.”
Speaking on behalf of the TTA, Kay said, “We are grateful to Perry Peters, the FRRSP Board and the City of Temecula for continuing the work that those dedicated volunteers envisioned so many years ago.”
Also attending the presentation were Mike Sterling, John’s son, Debby Haefner, a former TTA volunteer, and Ed Dominguez, incoming FRRSP president. Dominguez will become president at the organization’s Tenth Annual Board Meeting on January 8. Peters is relocating to San Diego later this month.
Kay noted that her non-profit charitable group was incorporated in 1970 to 1) preserve the place name Temecula, 2) promote and maintain the 1890’s architecture in Old Town, 3) provide community facilities and services and 4) produce specific annual events. Accomplishing all they set out to do, they leave a lasting legacy for TTA.
The Temecula Community Center on Pujol Street was built by TTA volunteers over a two-year period. It burned to the ground the day after Christmas, 1890, and a new building was constructed on the same site during 1991, and occupied in January 1992.
TTA, with the help of the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce, convinced the Riverside County Board of Supervisors to establish Old Town Temecula as a Historical Preservation District. Five TTA members were appointed to serve as a Local Review Board to evaluate all proposals for the construction of new buildings and remodeling the exterior of existing structures within the District boundaries.
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