A Memorial for Adrian Gunter

Artists interpretation of the memorial
Artist’s interpretation of the memorial

Shortly after Adrian Gunter’s unexpected passing on January 21st, a GoFundMe was created by the McKee family to raise funds to create a memorial in his honor. To date, over $12,500.00 has been raised for a memorial to remember Adrian’s love for sailboats. With the help of family, friends, and the community, the funds will be used to create a 6-foot steel sailboat monument for the residents and visitors of Gig Harbor to enjoy. Our amazing teacher, Ms. Alyse Yeaman, contacted the City of Gig Harbor to propose a plan to make this happen. After four months of planning, Ms. Yeaman joined Adrian’s mom, Tessa Gunter, and friends to approach the Gig Harbor City Council Commission to make the monument a reality.

On May 1st, they met with members of the City Council Commission to request permission to have the sailboat sculpture created by a local artist placed in Eddon Park in downtown Gig Harbor. This particular park is located next door to the Gig Harbor Boat Shop, where Adrian spent numerous hours making a sailboat the previous summer. When presented to the city council, Ms. Yeaman made a heartfelt impact on the members, explaining in detail what the monument would represent and the beauty it would add to the Gig Harbor community. Adrian’s friend, Grayson McKee, also spoke to the members and told them, “I don’t want Adrian to be forgotten. He was really a one-in-a-million friend who brought a smile to everyone’s face with his sense of humor and his jokes. His smile would light up the room. He was my best friend.”

After the idea was presented, the board members voted on whether to further explore the options to make it happen. All members agreed and explained the procedures that needed to take place, such as permitting and coming up with a specific place in Eddon Park to put the monument. Family and friends of Adrian left the meeting feeling excited and proud of all the time and effort that has been involved thus far. “This first step was very successful, and they seemed to really want to work with us to make this happen,” stated Grace McKee. The next step is to meet with the Gig Harbor Arts Commission on May 8th to discuss the monument further. We are hopeful that Adrian’s memorial will be in production soon and placed in Gig Harbor before the end of the year.