CLINTON, Iowa — Ray “Bubba” Sorensen started out honoring veterans by painting a rock near his home with scenes each year. He then started painting rocks in various counties around the state. Now he has only around five more of Iowa’s 99 counties to visit, and he will have painted a Freedom Rock in every county.
Now Sorensen said he sees a need to establish the Freedom Rock Foundation, to help maintain the rocks and the artwork.
“I’ve had a Freedom Rock crashed into by a drunk driver, I‘ve had three completely submerged in flood waters, and I’ve had a little bit of vandalism and stuff like that,” said Sorensen. “Rather than abandon each rock as I leave, and just kind of let the communities fend for themselves, with this rock, I thought it would be neat to have a foundation there to kind of help assist so if there’s damage by mother nature, by humans, that there would be a way to step in and kind of help with financial assistance or something like that.”
Sorensen said the Foundation will also be a way to help restore other monuments and tombstones to veterans. He said he may even work with other artists to help get funds where needed.
For more on the Freedom Rock Foundation and to give to the effort click here.
Ray & Maria Sorensen are now able to travel with kids as they paint rocks around Iowa. The kids even pick up a brush to help out.
“They travel with us a lot. And they can do distance learning as well,” said Sorensen. “I’ll mark out kind of like a little paint by numbers, and let them fill in certain colors and areas, and that helps me along too.”
This week the family is finishing a Freedom Rock in Clinton along the Mississippi River.
“The guy that was the father of US Army Special Forces was from Clinton, so I’m going to do a piece on that, there were three astronauts with ties to the Clinton area,” said Sorensen.
Plans are to wrap up work on the Clinton Freedom Rock this week.