Inside a suburban garage, miles from where it will stand guard, a symbol of police pride is taking shape.
Rich Koranda is part of the team bringing life to what used to be a plain fiberglass horse that will honor fallen Chicago cops.
Rosemary Fanti is the other half of the team that took this sketch on paper and applied it with glue, paint and imagination.
“It was literally a blank canvas,” Fanti said.
The two designed one of dozens of horses being created now, each named for a fallen police officer, that will stand along Michigan Avenue and other Chicago streets next month. The attention-grabbing design is meant to lure curious passersby.
“By them being drawn to it, I want them to understand what it's for, to read the plaque, to know the name of the officer who fell in the line of duty for this,” Koranda said.
Each horse is sponsored by a group or business.
The money raised goes to the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, whose focus is to provide Gold Star families with financial support, especially for children’s education.
“These kids are high achievers,” Dave Dunham of the Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union said. “They're doing great things with assistance from the memorial foundation, and we're delighted for that.”
“It's fun, but at the end of the day it's truly an honor,” Fanti said about designing the horse.
Koranda agreed, saying the work is a tribute to the fallen officer. “I want it to be representative of what they did and the final thing they gave with their life.”
The Horses of Honor public art installation will last from September through November and will then be auctioned off.