BY LINDSEY CARTER, KENNESAW STATE UNIVERSITY
Get ready because there’s a dinosaur in town at Legacy Park – or will be after September 13.
The Chung brothers, Malachi, 11 and Elijah Chung, 10, explained that they got the inspiration for the sculpture when they were walking the trails one day and noticed the stump under the bridge. “Our Dad pointed it out to us and said, using your imaginations, what do you see?” said Elijah.
Before the Chung family could go through with the tree stump proposal, they had to get special permission from Legacy Park’s Homeowners Association and get the city of Kennesaw to approve it.
The next day the Chung brothers submitted their ideas to Legacy Park’s Homeowner Association and that night the brother’s proposal got approved. The only exception was that the Chung family had to cover the cost of the dinosaur. That is when it all came together for the Chung brothers and before they knew it, a GoFundMe page was set in motion to help raise money for the sculpture.
The two brothers Malachi, 11 and Elijah Chung, 10, started a GoFundMe page with the help of their parents and quickly caught the attention of their local community in Legacy Park. “After 2 days of creating the GoFundMe page, we raised $1,795,” said Elijah. “I couldn’t believe it.” This is almost tripled their raise goal of $600.
With the permission and approval of Legacy Park and the city of Kennesaw, the Chung family set out for someone to design and carve the tree stump. That is where Chris Lantz, a chainsaw carving artist, partnered, and employed by Extreme Sculpting, came into play. Lantz agreed to do the dinosaur carving. This will take place on September 13, 2021. The sculpture was quoted to originally cost $2,400 but Lantz was so impressed with the idea that he generously cut the cost in half, quoting the Chung family to $1,200.
Lantz, a professional carving artist, for Extreme Sculpting who has been in the business for twelve years now said, “I saw two young men who have a bright future ahead of them and I wanted to give them a push in the right direction, so if cutting the cost was what it was going to take to make these two entrepreneur’s dreams come true, then that’s what I was going to do.” Lantz is in hopes to start working on the sculpture anywhere between 8 and 9am that morning. Depending on the detail of the sculpture, the carving can take anywhere between one to two business days to complete. “I’m really excited to give these two brothers a gift of a lifetime, and ready to carve this T-Rex head for the boys,” said Lantz.
The Chung family said they are overjoyed and excited not only by the local support of the community, but for a dream to become a reality. When asked what they plan to do with the extra money they received from the GoFundMe page, they said they had a few ideas. One idea would be to continue this awesome journey and use other local stumps to carve and create more local dinosaurs. Another idea would be to create a more defined dinosaur, and lastly, they would take all the extra money and donate to Lantz as a generous tip for fitting them into his busy schedule.
Local resident, Carl Herrick said “I think it’s great that they took it upon themselves to see something and move forward with it. They could have asked their parents to do this project, but they didn’t, and they came up with this project and idea of raising the money on their own, so I thought that was amazing.” Having a dinosaur will contribute to the community and increase the chances of property values going up. Herrick explained that having the dinosaur is more in tune with the US verses the Loch Ness Monster because it originated in Scotland. The Loch Ness Monster was an idea that the Chung brothers proposed first before deciding on the dinosaur sculpture. Herrick said he hasn’t donated to the GoFundMe page yet, but he definitely plans to do so because it’s for a good cause.
Local Legacy Park resident, Shauna Stewart commented, “We see that stump all the time when running the trails and think this is the coolest idea. I happen to love dinosaurs and hope it becomes one, but any creature will be fantastic! Good job guys!” on the GoFundMe page after donating $600.
The board is overjoyed to see two young kids getting outside and exploring nature for what it really is and turning the tree stump into something beautiful like a dinosaur sculpture. To say the least, everybody involved with the dinosaur sculpture is extremely excited and supportive of the Chung brothers.