Colorado Auto Collision Repair Students Try Their Hands at Statue Repair

The students spent a collective 300 hours restoring four weathered statues for Ronald McDonald Houses in Denver and Aurora.

Students pose with one of the four statues they and their classmates restored. Image via Emily Griffith Technical College Facebook page.

For four months, a handful of automotive collision repair students at Denver’s Emily Griffith Technical College worked on a rather unique project. It wasn’t a beat up jalopy that they took on. Instead, they plied their skills on four life-sized statues of Ronald McDonald.

The statues from the Ronald McDonald Houses in Denver and Aurora, each about two decades old, had become damaged and faded due to exposure to the sun and other natural elements.

It took the students about 300 hours to completely refurbish and refinish the statues. They sanded the statues, applied sealer and primer, painted a base coat and detailing, and put on decals. The tasks required for the statues aligned closely with the students’ studies in that it gave them experience using techniques and equipment they will use in the industry.

Evan Balogh, one of the students who worked on the project, is planning to enter a career as an auto repair technician following graduation in February.

Repairing the damage to the statues was similar to repairing body damage on a vehicle, Balogh said.

“I enjoyed it so much because of the detailed painting,” Balogh said.

He added that he has always enjoyed painting and plans to do lowrider art on cars and motorcycles. Painting the statues included working with an airbrush, so the project provided him with hands-on experience using an airbrush, which he’ll use in his profession.

Moreover, the students enjoyed the Ronald McDonald statues project because they were helping to spruce up the community for years to come.

Ronald McDonald Houses serve families who have a sick child by providing temporary lodging at no cost while the child is treated at a nearby hospital.

Balogh remembers noticing the statues when he and his family would drive by them during his childhood.

“Seeing them made me happy,” he said. And working on the project, he added, “felt good to be able to help other little kids feel joy.”

We thank Colorado Community Media for reprint permission.

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