Mayor Don Wesely today helped unveil a new larger than life-size bronze elk sculpture at the north entrance to Pioneers Park. The Mayor was joined by sculptor Rich Haines, Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Johnson and donor Angeleen Stransky. Mrs. Stransky and her late husband Leonard, a prominent Lincoln grocer and businessman, donated $111,000 for the sculpture as part of a 1994 gift totaling more than $1 million to the Parks and Recreation Department.
"Mr. and Mrs. Stransky developed a great love for Lincoln and its parks, and all of us in the city are very fortunate that they chose to donate to our community," said Mayor Wesely. "This beautiful sculpture is just one of the ways the Stransky family legacy will live in our community for many years."
"The original design for Pioneer’s Park included a sculpture on the north entrance to complement the buffalo sculpture at the east entrance," said Johnson. "This outstanding addition to one of our most popular parks is a project we could not have completed without the generosity of the Stransky family."
Johnson said the couple also wanted to give the citizens of Lincoln a special park. As a result of their gift, Stransky Park at South 17th and Harrison streets will be enhanced with a naturalized stone fountain, a gazebo, a toddler playground and landscaping. The improvements are expected to cost more than $500,000, and an endowment was also provided for maintenance. The park improvements will be dedicated in the summer of 2002.
In addition to the grocery business, Leonard Stransky was also involved in real estate and other investments. He died in March 1998. Mr. and Mrs. Stransky’s other donations have included $100,000 to the Capital Humane Society; $100,000 for a scholarship at UNL; and $100,000 for the building fund at Milligan High School, Mrs. Stransky’s alma mater.
The sculptor, Haines, was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming and has galleries in Jackson, Wyoming
and Park City , Utah. He has monumental sculptures in numerous private collections
nationwide as well as in Cheyenne and in Fort Collins, Colorado.