A statue of Binghamton native-son, author and playwright Rod Serling stepping through a doorway of imagination at Recreation Park on the West Side is closer to reality.

New York State Assembylwoman Donna Lupardo (D-52 Endwell) announced during the weekend Rod Serling Festival events that a $50,000 grant has been secured for the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation.

Photo courtesy NYS Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo
Photo courtesy NYS Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo

The Democrat says it’s important to recognize the importance of Recreation Park in Serling’s life both growing up in Binghamton and later as he used the park as inspiration in the episode of the “Twilight Zone” titled “Walking Distance.”

The foundation has been working for several years to raise the money for a statue to be placed in the neighborhood where Serling lived, played, and rode the carousel.

A marker is already in place in front of Binghamton high school commemorating Serling as a graduate of the school and the theater at the high school is named for Serling’s drama teacher, Helen Foley.

Organizers of the effort to raise a statue say a marker is nothing like a likeness of the author placed in a location he loved.

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The Rod Serling Memorial Foundation has been working through a number of strategies over several to try to raise the money, including a GoFundMe campaign and through the foundation’s website.

The state grant helps move the effort forward by a great deal but organizers say the they still need to raise $25,000 to complete the statue and have it placed at the park.

At this point, it’s expected the statue could be completed next year as the rest of the money is raised.

For information on the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation go to https://rodserling.com/

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