Grantham Hand Delivers Check to Fund Trump Portrait

DENVER – What began one morning on a whim ended in unimagined success Wednesday, when Colorado Senate President Kevin J. Grantham (R-Canon City) delivered a $9,000 check to a group that commissions the presidential portraits that hang in Colorado’s Capitol rotunda. That means work can begin on a portrait of the 45th President, Donald J. Trump, answering critics who claimed that the $10,000 in private funds required to pay for the painting couldn’t be raised due to a lack of support for the President.    

The funds were raised in less than 32 hours through a grassroots GoFundMe campaign Grantham initiated, after some made an issue of the blank spot on the wall reserved for Trump’s portrait. Grantham described the flood of “mom and pop” donations as “overwhelming.” And it shows that Trump still has plenty of grassroots support in Colorado, said Grantham.  

Total funding raised through the campaign quickly exceeded expectations, topping out at $10,884 before the portal was closed. $9,000 of that total was presented to Colorado Citizens for Culture on Wednesday, which together with $1,000 already collected will cover the $10,000 cost of Trump’s painting. Grantham on Wednesday also wrote a $1,503.00 check to Rocky Mountain Honor Flight, which funds trips to Washington DC war memorials for veterans of World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War. That made good on his pledge to donate any surplus funds collected (after GoFundMe’s fees were paid) to that worthy cause.  

 “We’ve all seen the news, there’s no portrait of President Trump on display at the Colorado State Capitol,” Grantham said in the video pitch that accompanied the GoFundMe, “which is why I’m excited to announce that we’re taking the reins and raising $10,000 to get a painting of Donald J. Trump in the Hall of Portraits at the Colorado State Capitol.”

It didn’t take long for the donations to flood in, 216 in all. And the giving was bipartisan in nature, with donations coming from notables like State Senator Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction), Representative Dan Pabon (D-Denver), and former Representative Dorothy Butcher (D-Pueblo).

“With contributions from $5 to $500, and donors across the political spectrum, this effort was a victory for Colorado,” Grantham said after the $10,000 benchmark was easily eclipsed. “Every President – regardless of their political party – deserves a portrait in the Colorado State Capitol. It was great to see this get done quickly, and we can’t wait to let Sarah Boardman get started on another beautiful piece of art.”

Sarah Boardman, a Colorado Springs resident, was chosen in 2017 to paint the portrait of President Donald J. Trump. She was previously commissioned to paint the portrait of President Barack Obama, and received high praise for her work.

A timeline for the completion of the artwork is not yet set, though Coloradans can expect the portrait to be completed by late 2018 or early 2019.

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