Updated: July 02, 2021 11:04 PM
Created: July 02, 2021 05:58 PM
(ABC 6 News) - Well, the day has come! Hollywood icon Marion Ross is back in Albert Lea to see a statue unveiling of her. She's known for her role in "Happy Days" from 1974 to 1984.
And, the Albert Lea community came together to make this day special.
"I'm so grateful that they care and that they turned out. Everyone has such lovely manners," Marion Ross said.
Marion made a big difference not only in Hollywood but also in Albert Lea.
And the community came together to honor Marion Ross with this statue that will sit at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center on Marion Ross Street.
And Marion thinks it looks great!
"She's a very earnest-looking girl. Hopefully, it will be there may be a hundred years, wouldn't that be something? With birds singing on my shoulder," Ross said.
The Marion Ross Committee raised $100,000 to make this statue come to town. One fundraising idea they had was for people to buy a brick that would be right in front of the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center.
"We just feel good for Albert Lea. We feel good for Marion and for the people that can enjoy it," Joyce Nixon, member of the Marion Ross Committee said.
And people are! One man, I spoke to, traveled with his family from Oxford, Mississippi to get a chance to see Marion Ross.
"Seeing an American Icon is an honor. Her message has always been you can do anything that you want to do, just set your goal," David Holben said.
And for the sculptor of this statue, he put so much work into this to honor Marion and what she has done in her life.
"She's beautiful inside and out. She's incredibly charming. The idea was to have her smiling with a slight twinkle to her eye. That was important to capture," Chad Fisher said.
And after the event, Marion spent some time talking to fans at Three Oak Wines.
And for the homecoming queen, she says it feels good to be back home, surrounded by people who love and care for her. Her fondest memory in town is of the lake!
"I love Albert Lea, It's just a beautiful place to live. The lake meant everything. We were junior lifeguards, we worked at the bathhouse, sold frozen candy bars," Ross said.
So as the sun sets in Albert Lea, the statue of Marion Ross will always be here.
Looking over the lake and the memories she will cherish forever.
Marion Ross will also be serving as the grand marshal of the 3rd of July parade Saturday at 6 p.m. in Albert Lea.
And, the mayor of Albert Lea declared July 2nd as Marion Ross Day.
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