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Cow sculpture to benefit homeless causes planned for downtown Amherst

A metal cow soon to 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 that the sculpture, which is under construction, will be a place where people can drop off donations. It will function like the bronze “Happy Frog” in front of First Churches in Northampton, which the Friends of Hampshire County Homeless Individuals installed four years ago.

Donors will be able to drop cash directly into the cow’s mouth, as they would with a piggy bank, said Heron-Duranti, who runs Counterfeit Cow Productions LLC.

He also envisions it as 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. They began interviewing homeless people in town this summer.

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 Sunday.

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