Ezzard Charles Statue

in Laurel Park

We are erecting a statue of a West End advocate and icon, on the street named for him.

Ezzard Charles is a Cincinnati legend. More than a Heavyweight Champion of the World, Ezzard Charles was a West End resident, entrepreneur,  renowned jazz enthusiast, and a brilliant Renaissance man.  A West End advocate during his life, he now represents honor, dignity, respect, and strength. More than a statue, this project has ignited the community and partnerships across the city. 

Who Was Ezzard Charles?

Ezzard Charles Statue Fundraising Phases

The total project cost is approximately $287,500, with funds raised going toward materials, bronze casting, artist fees, construction of a new plaza, and installation, along with a maintenance endowment, on site signage, and park programming. Thanks to a Heavyweight Champion donation from the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation, fundraising for the statue is complete! The statue and plaza will be installed and dedicated in October 2021, and is made possible through generous donations from:

  • The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation
  • Cincinnati Parks Foundation Board Members & Emerging Leaders Committee
  • PNC Charitable Trust
  • FC Cincinnati
  • The Maschmeier Boys & Girls
  • Montgomery Inn
  • ArtsWave
  • Greater Cincinnati Foundation
  • Larosa’s
  • O’Dell Owens
  • Cincinnati Bell
  • GE

HOW YOU CAN HELP

While we have met our overall fundraising goal, we invite you to join our GoFundMe fundraiser for neighborhood donations in order to meet our “Knockout Goal” of $10,000 from individual donors. This is a small—but crucial—part of this project, as funds raised through GoFundMe will help expand the scope and design of the plaza within which the statue will stand.

Donations over $1,000 can be made on the form below, or by contacting: andrew@cincinnatiparksfoundation.org

More Than a Statue

More than a statue, this project has ignited the community and partnerships across the city. Each October, the Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses host the annual Ezz Fest celebration, which features live jazz music, free food for the neighborhood, and family activities. MadTree Brewing, who also supports the Fall Releaf program, has joined the project by committing to donate more than 100 trees to the park and surrounding neighborhood. Cincinnati Bell will be installing free WiFi in Laurel Park for the West End community; more details will be announced soon.