POMONA, Calif. (KABC) -- Ray Adamyk found his passion for historical restoration at just 15 years old. Now, 45 years later, with his Pomona-based business Spectra Company, he's restored over 300 historical and cultural landmarks across the country.
"There's something about restoring an old building and bringing it back to life," said Adamyk. "It's amazing. It's really awesome."
In his journey for racial reconciliation, Adamyk discovered Harriet Tubman attended Salem Chapel in St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada, not far from where he grew up. Tubman, known for her bravery in helping hundreds of enslaved people escape, is also said to have used the church as a stop on the underground railroad.
"I knew what those two words, racial reconciliation, spurred up in my heart [and] what they were all about," Adamyk said. "And I just said, 'We're going to come and help you and we're going to raise $3 million, and go back there and we're going to restore that.'"
To help raise money, the first annual Unity Day L.A. event is scheduled for July 4 at the Fairplex. This is also when they will unveil a statue of Harriet Tubman at Lincoln Park in Pomona. All profits from the event will go towards restoring Salem Chapel in Canada.
"This was just one opportunity to bring potentially to one of our parks, a representation of Harriet Tubman statue," said Pomona Mayor Tim Sandoval. "To create a conversation around our past but also to begin to look to our future."
"For her to go down and save hundreds and hundreds of slaves that needed freedom, that is amazing," Adamyk said. "And that legacy needs to be saved, needs to be protected. That building needs to be preserved and restored."
The restoration work on Salem Chapel is expected to begin in 2023. You can find more information on the Unity Day L.A. event at this website.
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