Retired Astronaut is Honored
A former NASA astronaut is honored in Sunnyside this morning.
Members from the Sunnyside and Outlook community raised $100,000 to construct a statue of local hero Bonnie Dunbar.
People gather to honor Bonnie Dunbar a woman who grew up on a farm in the small town of Outlook, and worked her way up to the stars.
For some, it brings great pride to have the statue of a local hero erected in downtown Sunnyside.
But for Tim Beard, it's also an honor to see an old friend.
"her brother, Bobby, was my classmate all the way through the 12th grade. Bobby and I were best friends through most of that time. So I used to spend a lot of time at the Dunbars," says Beard
Local teachers say Dunbar is being honored not only for her accomplishments with NASA, but also for the influence she has on the local schools.
"She came to certain classes to talk, and then we had the sophomores meet in the auditorium so she could talk to all of them and then she showed some slides of what she had done," says Sunnyside High teacher Joyce Stark.
The statue of a younger version of Bonnie is not only meant to show you how she let books become a large part of her life, but also meant to inspire children to do the same.
"It's real message is about education being the key to any future, it doesn't matter where you grow up," says Dunbar.
Dunbar says she hopes students will see the role a proper education plays in achieving your dreams.
As for Tim Beard, he hopes that influence will spread beyond the city limits.
"She's putting Outlook and Sunnyside on the map, and representing us in other places. I think that it is a great thing," says Beard.
"I'm extremely honored and humbled. Especially to have this happen while im still living," says Dunbar.
The statue is located at Fifth Street and Harrison Avenue in downtown Sunnyside.