NAR’s horse sculpture dedicated to fallen Chicago police officer William R. Mooney (Credit: NAR)
On the second day of the new year in 1908, Officer William R. Mooney, a Chicago policeman, lost his life while protecting his community. A 16-year veteran of Chicago’s finest, Mooney, 45, was shot in a gun battle with three robbery suspects. He was rushed to the hospital, where he later confronted his attacker after the man was apprehended by police and brought to Mooney’s hospital room. The last thing Mooney did before he died was identify the man who killed him.
That’s the story of the hero, according to archived accounts from the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. The memory of Mooney — along with more than 500 Windy City police officers who have died in the line of duty over the years — lives on, and the National Association of REALTORS® made sure his death wasn’t in vain, even to this day.
Artist Rich Lo adds final touches to NAR’s horse. (Credit: NAR)
NAR, which is headquartered in Chicago, participated in Horses of Honor, a public art installation honoring the Chicago Police Department’s fallen comrades and benefiting the CPMF. The installation featured 90 life-size replicas of horses in the CPD’s Mounted Patrol Unit, each dedicated to an officer who was killed on the job. The horses were placed in various locations around the city. NAR sponsored one of the horses, hiring artist Rich Lo to paint a deconstructed American flag on the sculpture, which spoke to its theme of “The A-MARE-ICAN Dream of Home Ownership.” NAR dedicated its horse, which stood outside its Chicago office, to Mooney, who died the same year the REALTORS® association was founded.
“NAR’s sponsorship is in keeping with our support of community, safety, first-responders, and fallen officers,” says Bob Goldberg, NAR’s senior vice president of sales and marketing.
Fifteen of the 90 horses garnering the most votes on Facebook, including NAR’s, were chosen for auction to raise funds for the CPMF. NAR’s horse pulled in a $2,000 winning bid — the third-highest amount of the auction.
NAR’s display of dedication to its community moved many, including former Chicago police officer Linda Vidmar and her daughter, Lindsey.
“This project holds a special place in my heart,” Linda Vidmar writes in a letter to Lo and NAR. “So many CPD families have and will benefit from this amazing project. You have inspired and touched people in so many ways, including my family. Your particular piece is my daughter’s favorite. She actually sketched out what her horse would look like if we were to sponsor one, and it looks similar to yours. She, too, is an artist. So after seeing your horse, we contacted Horses of Honor to locate and visit your horse. It truly is beautiful! Not only did you help CPD families and make our city look amazing, but most importantly, you showed a young artist how art can benefit everyone. It’s a gift that keeps giving.”