By mid-February the Grinder’s Switch Foundation announced achievement of phase one of an effort to replace a statue on the town’s square of famed Opry comedienne, Minnie Pearl. Reaching the first goal of $5,000, foundation secretary and Hickman County Times Editor Brad Martin told Validity an order will be placed with Columbia sculptor Jennifer Grisham for a 14 inches tall bronze of Minnie Pearl seated on a park bench.
Fund raising will continue through the spring and summer a goal to cast a full-size statue by the birthday of Ophelia Cannon, aka Minnie Pearl by October. October would have been the 100th birthday of Cannon who brought national attention to Grinder’s Switch and her birthplace, Centerville, through her career with the Grand Ole Opry.
The miniature statue will be used as a promotional piece to garner support for the cause.
Levels of contributions in four categories have been established by the Grinder’s Switch Foundation and include “Minnie’s Fella” for contributions of $1000 or more and “Minnie’s Friend” for donations of $100, among others. All donations of $100 or more will receive permanent recognition at the statue site on the lawn of the former Hickman County Courthouse, now home of the Cultural Arts Center in Centerville.
Online contributions may be made at www.grindersswitch.org or may be mailed to Grinder’s Switch Foundation, P. O. Box 126, Centerville, Tennessee 37033. Chairman of the Grinder’s Switch Foundation is Leon Fuller. Other members include Paul Aydelott, David Dansby, Dana Dye, Dennis Griffin, Gary Jacobs, Clarissa Lega, Robert Mitchell, Mary Beth Pruitt and Nancy Roland.