Cy statues celebrate Ames


Iowa State and the Ames Chamber of Commerce partnered on the CyclONE City project to place 30 different versions of Cy around the city of Ames and campus. “Protect and Serve Cy,” sponsored by Ames Police Benefit Association and designed by Molly Nagel of Mason City, Iowa, is located at City Hall near the police station entrance.  

Kelly Schiro

Starting Aug. 31, Ames residents might have been wondering from where the 30 6-foot tall Cy statues all around the city came.

The statues came about through an initiative called CyclONE City. CyClone City was created by Leadership Ames 27 class, which was developed to make informed, involved and concerned community leaders in the Ames area, according to the Ames Chamber of Commerce website.

The Cy statues are placed all around Ames on streets, in front of businesses and on campus. They will be displayed until Dec. 5, after which some will be auctioned off.

Makenzie Heddens, a chairwoman of the project, said the class was approached about organizing the initiative by Dan Culhane, president of the Ames Chamber of Commerce; Jeff Johnson, president of the Alumni Association, and Carole Custer, director of marketing.

“CyclONE City is a showcase of the town and grown relationship between Iowa State University and the city of Ames,” Heddens said.

Similar tours have been successful in other cities such as Chicago, Omaha and Iowa City, but Ames has the only tour that will donate all the proceeds from the auction to charity.

The leadership class chose to donate to Mainstream Living, a non-profit that provides services to people with disabilities. Money will also be donated to Youth and Shelter Services and the Emergency Resident Project that helps provide shelter to the homeless in the Ames area.

Throughout the class, members visited different locations such as the hospital to learn about healthcare and the schools to talk to the school board.

“We had a non-profit day when we were out at Mainstream Living and it struck really deep within our hearts,” Heddens said, “We felt that we wanted to help people that were in need in our community.”

The project began last October and took about ten months to coordinate. The class networked to find sponsors interested in being a part of CyclONE City.

Designers for the project would either submit their own ideas for sponsors to approve or the sponsors had an idea in mind to give to a designer who was willing to create a design that fit the idea.

Julia Takemura learned about the project through a teaching assistant in her printmaking class. After seeing the list of sponsors, she created a design of a Fareway employee in hopes it would be something in which the sponsors would be interested.

Takemura’s Fareway Cy was placed at the Fareway on Stange Road

“I needed the money for college and most importantly, I wanted to contribute something to my beloved city of Ames,” Takemura said.

Hugo Kenemer designed the Super Cy located at Hilton Coliseum along University Boulevard.

“I thought a super hero would be a great way to do a big, tough-looking Cy,” Kenemer said, “I spent about three weeks refabricating and painting my Super Cy statue.”

It took months to get all the approvals in order. The leadership class had to work with the trademark office, university marketing and the athletic department, not to mention the city’s approval to put life-size Cys all over city streets.

“You can’t just stick a 6-foot statue in the middle of the street,” Heddens said. “You have to make sure he’s safe for traffic and pedestrians.”

Heddens said that all 16 members of the class took on leadership roles in some shape or form and developed their leadership and professional skills.

Heddens said she couldn’t just pick out one statue as her favorite since they are all unique.

“We’re hoping that everyone goes out and gets their picture taken with the statues,” Heddens said.

There are 30 Cy statues scattered all around Ames with different themes. People are encouraged to take pictures with them. Pictures of the statues are on the Ames Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page and the locations are listed its website.