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Cow sculpture to benefit homeless causes planned for downtown Amherst

— A metal cow that will soon appear in downtown Amherst will serve as a fundraising tool for programs that serve the homeless and hungry in the community.

Sari Gagnon, the director of a documentary titled “Homeless in a College Town” and executive producer Matthew Heron-Duranti, recently announced the sculpture as a place where donations can be dropped off.

The cow is currently under construction, Heron-Duranti said.

“This cow will be a place where residents of Amherst can place donations directly into the cow’s mouth, similar to a piggy bank,” said Heron-Duranti, who runs Counterfeit Cow Productions LLC.

The cow will have a similar purpose to the bronze sculpture known as “Happy Frog” in front of First Churches in Northampton, which the Friends of Hampshire County Homeless Individuals installed four years ago.

Besides the possibility of attracting direct donations, the cow will also be a symbol for fundraising events centered around homeless issues.

“We believe this project could potentially become a blueprint for something that could have a significant impact on helping those in desperate need,” Heron-Duranti said.

Besides making the film, Heron-Duranti and Gagnon have also been advocates for the homeless, helping with a public appeal for additional beds at the Craig’s Place homeless shelter, volunteering at the shelter and assisting with meal preparation at soup kitchens.

Meanwhile, they are continuing to look for assistance in funding the documentary, which they began working on this summer with extensive interviews with homeless individuals in town.

A trailer for the film, updated videos and explanation of the project can be viewed at www.indiegogo.com/homelessinacollegetown.

This funding campaign, seeking to bring in $20,000 for the project, ends Nov. 18.

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