Paradise Valley plans statue for 'Family Circus' creator Bil Keane

PARADISE VALLEY, AZ - When "Family Circus" creator, Bil Keane passed away nearly two years ago, he left behind a legacy of artwork and community service.

"He constantly donated his time and his artwork for different causes," said fundraiser Mary Hamway.

The long-time Paradise Valley resident found inspiration in the desert foothills. Saguaros and mountains showed up in many of his drawings.

"He was surrounded by the beauty of the desert and the beauty of Paradise Valley, and that's what drew him here," said Hamway.

And it's here he drew the iconic comic strip. Now, a group headed by Hamway is trying to immortalize Keane's efforts.

"We knew we wanted to commemorate, remember him, memorialize his contribution in some way," she said.

Community members have commissioned a statue to be built in his honor. It's designed by his own sons, and shows Keane playing with several of his well-known characters.

With a $75,000 price tag, it's an expensive venture.

"The idea is to unveil the statue on the second anniversary of his passing this fall," Hamway said.

"In order to do that, we need to give the foundry six months to cast the large sculpture. So six months from November is the beginning of May, so I need all the money collected by April."

So, with about $20,000 to go, the push is on the raise the money to make the deadline, and make Keane a permanent part of Paradise Valley.

If you want to help the cause, you can go to the Paradise Valley website to donate.


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