After a statue of Jesus at a New York chapel was defaced, several residents banded together to raise money to fix it. They got help from an unusual source: Pokemon Go players.
The statue, located outside the Shrine of Our Lady of the Island in the eastern Long Island city of Manorville, was defaced Saturday night, Newsday reported. Parishioners and area residents began raising money to fix the life-size statue, whose face was smashed. They want to have it fixed in time for the Stations of the Cross that traditionally commemorate Good Friday on March 30.
David Ringhiser, 37, of Mastic, said he usually plays Pokemon Go at the shrine, which he said has several PokeStops — which are locations where players collect game items, Newsday reported. He created an online fundraiser Wednesday night to help fix the statue and shared it in Facebook groups for local Pokemon Go players, Newsday reported.
“A lot of us play Pokemon Go there to load up on items. I think they are great to let us drive around or walk around there with no issues,” Ringhiser wrote.
More than $1,000 has been collected, mostly from people who play the game, Ringhiser said.
The Rev. Pete D’Abele, an administrator at Shrine of Our Lady, said he hasn’t noticed the players, who walk the grounds with their eyes trained on their phones or drive slowly through the parking lot. So he was surprised when Ringhiser stopped by at the church Thursday morning.
“It’s good,” D’Abele told Newsday. “I guess he wanted to pay it forward.”
Ringhiser said he hopes to raise $5,000 for the repair.
“It’s a beautiful place and right now they have a garbage bag covering the statue. They shouldn’t have something like that there,” Ringhiser told Newsday. “We’re just trying to help.”