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updated: 2/7/2014 10:00 AM

Fundraising to begin for Dixon's Reagan statue

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Associated Press

DIXON -- Western Illinois officials will try to raise $200,000 to build a bronze statue of a young Ronald Reagan near the beach where he once worked as a lifeguard.

The Dixon Telegraph reports the statue would be 7 feet fall and be installed in Lowell Park, where Reagan spent summers working as a lifeguard.

The Illinois native who went on to become the nation's 40th president was credited with saving 77 people from the Rock River.

The statue would be created by Highland Park sculptor Gary Tillery. It will show the nation's 40th president running toward the river to rescue a swimmer.

Dixon Mayor Jim Burke says fundraising for the project is expected to start in March and he hopes to raise the money by June.

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