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The 'Happies' are here to stay

FALLBROOK – The economy may be down, but Fallbrook residents were inspired to make donations to keep the ‘Happies’ here in Fallbrook. The ‘Happies’ are a pair of whimsical metal sculptures that were on loan by artist Barrett DeBusk and on display on Fallbrook Union Elementary School District grounds outside the Mike Coate Early Education Center.

“We have reached our goal and the Happies are here to stay, said Bev Thordarson of Fallbrook’s Art in Public Places committee, adding that the sculptures are a symbol of what Fallbrook can accomplish as an art community.

“Our efforts and donations were a response to the values that give affirmative energy to our community,” added Thoradson.

Donations to purchase the sculptures came in many forms and from several places, art community representatives said. The Art in Public Places committee worked with the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District to host a Happies workshop on November 6 at the Mike Choate Early Education Center. Students were able to choose and complete one of five art activities related to the sculptures. On November 14, the art created by the children went on display at an Open House/Art Show to raise funds toward the purchase of the sculptures. Tickets were sold for $1 to attendees to be used to vote their favorite choice of Happies art.

Local businesses including The Farmhouse, Manor’s Cleaners, Caffe Primo, Yogurt Palace, the Art Center and Fallbrook Café set out contribution jars for patrons to donate spare change to the fundraising effort. Otis and Linda Heald matched the community-raised funds. Mickey and Dawn Goodwin McCullough and Arlyne Ingold were other large donors.

“We also want to thank the many other supportive individuals who contributed, large and small,” said the committee. “The banner above the Happies sums it up best. It now reads, “Yea! We’re here to stay. Thanks, Fallbrook.”

Visit to see a complete list of Fallbrook’s Public Art installations and ongoing projects.


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