The tigers are coming

by Town Reminder

Animal statues to appear around town

By Kristin Will
Staff Writer

SOUTH HADLEY – In an effort to spread community spirit and show South Hadley as a positive – or rather “paw”sitive – place to live, a group of like-minded individuals are bringing fiberglass tigers to town.
The life-size animals will be placed outside each of the South Hadley public schools. Local businesses will also have the opportunity to purchase tigers to place outside their storefronts.
“It’s time to remind people it’s a positive place,” said Beth Craven, a member of the Tiger Committee.
Christine Phillips, another Tigers Committee member, agreed. “There’ a lot of positive things happening in our community,” she said.
Superintendent of Schools Nick Young, who has spoken about connecting the business, school and residential communities, inspired Craven and this project. “I just said, ‘Why not do tigers?’” she said, similar to Granby with its dinosaurs and Easthampton with its bears.
For a set fee yet to be determined, businesses can purchase a tiger. Three styles of tigers are available – stalking, pouncing and lying down.
The tigers will be shipped blank by creator Patrick Keough of Nebraska. A local artist will then paint the animal statue for the business with a design of the business’ choice.
The Tiger Committee is asking local artists to volunteer to paint the animal canvases, hoping to incorporate town history into some designs.
Each school is hosting a slew of fun fundraisers in order to fund the tigers. Both the high school and Michael E. Smith Middle School are hosting penny wars. The high school is planning to tape a teacher to a wall. Mosier Elementary is sponsoring grade level competitions for a classroom pizza party. And Plains School is asking students to bring in loose change to “feed” their tiger. Students will also be at all boys’ basketball games collecting change.
“Consider yourself asked to be a part of this,” said Tiger Committee Erin Houle. Oftentimes, she said, residents don’t participate in events because they weren’t aware or weren’t directly asked. She hopes everyone in the community will participate by either donating to the school fundraising efforts or if possible, purchasing a Tiger to place outside their business.
All money received will be put toward Tiger purchases for the schools and paint supplies for all tigers in town.
Town Hall has raised enough funds to purchase a tiger of its own. The Tiger Committee hopes other municipal institutions will join the pack, in addition to local businesses.
Artists are sought to lend their talents to the project and volunteers are needed to help with the legwork, such as transportation from around town, concrete pouring and mounting, fundraising and promotion.
To purchase, paint or donate funds or time, contact the Tiger Committee by emailing