Bucks on the Street will soon become a reality in Buckhead….Not the four-legged live buck deer that sometimes are seen wandering in Buckhead neighborhoods, but the eight-foot-tall buck statues designed by “Buckhead Boy” and MAD Magazine artist Jack Davis.
At least a dozen buck statues will be visible around the community in early 2012, according to Donna Kain and Elizabeth Gill, Buckhead Business Foundation co-chairs of the Bucks on the Street Program.
|Bucks on the Street co-chairs Donna Kain, left, and Elizabeth|
Gill pose with "Bucky the Buck" and a decorated 8-foot statue.
The original goal was to sell 75 sponsorships of the buck statues, which begin at $4,000. So far, the Bucks on the Street campaign has sold about a dozen and has commitments for twice that many, according to Gill and Kain. But, no one is giving up on the goal of selling 75.
Sponsors of the buck statues will be contributing to the quality of life in Buckhead since proceeds from the sponsorships go to benefit Livable Buckhead and its Connect Buckhead project. The 501(c)3 Livable Buckhead organization was formed during the past year to focus on sustainability, creating new parks in Buckhead and offering more accessibility and mobility options, such as bike and walking paths to connect Buckhead neighborhoods.
Gill and Kain said the program will be making its first donation of $5,000 to Livable Buckhead for its Buckhead Connection project at the organizations next board meeting on Dec. 9. The two women, who have virtually been selling all of the sponsorships themselves over the past year, said enough sponsor money has been collected to date to cover expenses and make this first donation to Livable Buckhead.
|Kain, left, and Gill with a "Naked Buck"|
A business that buys a $4,000 sponsorship in the Bucks on the Street Program gets to have the decorated buck placed in front of their business for six months. After that, the sponsors will have the opportunity to purchase their buck at an auction next fall for an additional $5,000. Actually, businesses or individuals will be able to purchase bucks right up to the auction and even bid on them at auction.
The statue program is similar to the turtle statue program produced in 2005 in Sandy Springs and the cows and bulldogs that became icons in other communities. But, none of those other communities can claim the name of the animal they chose as being part of the community name. Buckhead certainly can, since it was named after the buck’s head that was posted at Irby’s Tavern at Peachtree and Roswell roads in the early days of the community.
The statues are a cast of the original character design created by MAD Magazine artist Davis for the Buckhead Boys, a group of men who attended North Fulton High School (which now is the Atlanta International School). Davis was one of the original Buckhead Boys.
The bucks, which are actually 6 feet 2 inches tall on top of a 2-foot base, will be decorated by professional artists, according to Kain. Artists are working now on designs on the sold bucks aiming for a January deadline to have them on the streets. “They will have a lot of character,” she added. "A Russian sells his paintings for $25,000 has done one of the statues."
|The decorated buck statue sponsored by|
Mercedes Benz of Buckhead.
Gill said the statues are an exciting opportunity for local businesses to show community spirit while raising money for a worthy local cause.
She told BuckheadView the sponsorships help to demonstrate, “in a fun and unique way, a business’ commitment to Buckhead,” promote art and culture, provide a showcase for local artistic talent, attract media coverage for the Buckhead community and promote Buckhead as a destination for business, shopping, and entertainment.
There are three sponsorship levels available: $4,000, $10,000 and $20,000-plus.
The top sponsorship level of $20,000 is named the “Buckhead” and the sponsorship details will be customized for each sponsor—within limits—but most certainly will include perpetual ownership of the buck statue. The team is still looking for one of these major sponsors, but feels sure one will step forward.
The next highest level, the “Peachtree,” includes logo recognition on all marketing materials and print ads, a full-page ad in the auction catalog and 10 tickets to the auction party next year. Gill said there are several sponsors at the $10,000 level and they will be able to retain their statues.
The $4,000 “Piedmont” level includes name recognition on all marketing materials (posters, web site, event and media materials), a quarter-page ad in the auction catalog and two tickets to the auction party. In order to keep their statues, these sponsors will have to fork over an additional $5,000 at the time of the auction, for a total contribution of $9,000.
|Bucks on the Street co-chair Elizabeth Gill, left, with Livable|
Buckhead Executive Director Executive Director Denise
and a decorated buck at the kickoff party in September.
Some of the Buckhead businesses and organizations that have already committed to sponsorships are: Fifth Third Bank, Georgia Commerce Bank, Coro Realty, Henri’s Bakery, Mercedes Buckhead, Entertainment Design Group, Buckhead Community Improvement District and the Buckhead Business Association.
In September, the Buckhead Business Foundation and Livable Buckhead held a “Buck Naked” party to show off the product and really kick off the major sales effort. Now the two groups and the two co-chairs for the project are looking for a full-court press on sales of sponsorships to see if the original goal of 75 bucks on the street can be attained in 2012.
The Buckhead Business Foundation, a nonprofit foundation associated with the Buckhead Business Association, began the bucks project in late 2010. The two co-chairs Gill and Kain both are former presidents of the Buckhead Business Association and spearheaded forming the foundation.
Gill said the intent of the Bucks on the Street program was to use the statues to lift the spirits of the community during the economic downturn which put a stop to development and created a large amount vacant office space in Buckhead. The slow economic recovery has not been helpful in selling the program, she admitted. But now that the economy is starting to pick up, she is hopeful sponsorships for Bucks in the Street will follow.
“The Bucks on the Street Program is taking off,” said Denise Starling, executive director of Livable Buckhead (www.livablebuckhead.org). “It is going to make quite a splash and also help us keep moving on our greenspace efforts. We think that these bucks are the perfect holiday gift for that Buckhead guy or girl that has everything,” she added.
For additional information about Bucks on the Street visit www.bucksonthestreet.org.