Earlier this month, Vancouver Island’s very own Guinness World Record holder, Howard (the World’s Tallest Gnome) was told that he needs to find a new home – but not before a little sprucing up!
Bridget Matewish, the granddaughter of Ron Hale who built Howard in 1998, has created a GoFundMe page to raise enough funds for Howard’s repair before they find him a new home.
“The money will be used to purchase him a brand new trailer to replace the rotten base he is currently on, completely repaint him, as well as repair his plaster hands and foam face,” reads the description.
“Any remaining money will be donated to the Parksville SOS to support those most vulnerable.”
Click here to help raise funds for Howard’s restoration.
At over 25 ft tall, Howard has been towering over Nanoose Bay for 21 years. Today, he is in dire need of repairs before finding a new home, or else will be torn down by the owners of the Chevron gas station along the Island Highway by which he stands.
Before the gas station, the property was home to a family-run amusement park owned by Ron Hale, Matewish’s grandfather and Howard’s creator.
After passing down the park to his son, Hale built Howard in the family’s garage, using scraps that were laying around the property. Over a decade later, in 2009, it was recognized by the Guinness World Records.
When the family eventually sold the property, the gas station agreed to keep the gnome in its place.
However, since then Howard’s statue has started to “disintegrate”, and the gas station told Matewish that they must tear it down for “legal reasons”.
So Matewish turned to social media and GoFundMe to help raise funds, awareness, and ideas to help her find Howard a new home.
“We want to find him a new home, somewhere people can still visit him, take photos with him and for Bruce and Ron Hale to live on through him. We don’t want to see him torn down and thrown out,” she says in the GoFundMe post.
At the time of publication, the GoFundMe page has raised $105 of the $15,000 target goal.
Anyone who is interested in adopting the gnome or know of a place where he could go is asked to message his Facebook page, Howard the World’s Tallest Gnome.