ENCINITAS, Calif. - Three years after the Surfing Madonna suddenly appeared on a wall along Encinitas Boulevard and then had to be removed, the popular mosaic has come full circle.
Now, she is across the street from her original location and the organization that helped get her there wants to raise $100,000 for the community.
The Surfing Madonna has been on quite the journey since 2011 when she made her debut on Encinitas Boulevard near Highway 101.
Bob Nichols is the director of operations for the Surfing Madonna Oceans Project and he has a vision for that space. It includes selling bricks that will go under the mosaic that can be customized with names or messages.
"People can put up to 60 characters on the brick paver," he told 10News. "We just decided to turn that into a really nice Zen-like park."
Each brick costs $150 and they have already sold 90 of the 1,200. The goal is to raise $100,000 that Nichols says the community will decide how to spend.
"This was a gift to the community – the Surfing Madonna – and so we need to let the community make a decision on where proceeds raised from the Madonna goes," said Nichols.
The Surfing Madonna was secretly installed on a wall owned by the state and run by the city of Encinitas. Now, she is on private property and the controversy surrounding her and possible religious connotations have since died down. Nichols said it turned out the way it was supposed to.
"It's just a blessing that things worked out the way they did because we wouldn't be having this paver project," he said.
Last year, the organization raised $50,000 with a walk/run event. This year, they would like to raise $100,000 and would like to provide scholarships for local children.