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Staff Pick

Best Pink Bunny 

The pink bunny memorial statue for Chase Smith at Lake Como Park

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Rob Bartlett

It appeared in Lake Como Park in spring 2014 – a statue of a pink bunny perched on its haunches peering out at cars that drove around the east side of the traffic circle. Another bunny statue just like it appeared in Langford Park, as well.  The statues were erected by City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, who applied to have them installed in honor of her former aide, Chase Smith, who died of cancer in 2013. Smith played the Easter bunny for Easter egg hunts in both Como and Langford parks, and Sheehan thought it would be a nice way to honor his memory and his contributions to Orlando. But earlier this year, some residents living on the circle started complaining about the statue and insisted that it didn’t belong. Sheehan, who didn’t want her friend’s memorial tainted by negativity, made plans to move the bunny to a park in another neighborhood. But that’s when things got really interesting. Within 24 hours of posting to Facebook about her plans to relocate the bunny, a different group of neighbors chained the bunny to the ground, erected a “Save Our Bunny” sign behind the statue and asked Sheehan to reconsider. In the end, the bunny lovers defeated the bunny haters, and Chase Smith’s memorial stands in its original spot.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)



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