The owner of a vandalized neighborhood Buddhist shrine in Sugar House says that well-wishers have provided the cash needed to repair the damage.
Ben Dieterle, a Zen Buddhist, said 110 people had responded to his GoFundMe site, contributing $3,005 as of early Thursday afternoon.
That’s $5 more than estimated for restoring the 300-pound Buddha head, which had been the focal point of the ornate, wooden front yard “Buddha on 9th” shrine at 1917 S. 900 East.
In a Facebook post, Dieterle thanked donors, promising that 100 percent of the funds will go toward replacing the head with one made of “vandalism-resistant materials and . . . new security features to deter future vandals.”
He also lauded those who have encouraged him since he found the statue’s face destroyed by a 25-pound rock last month — just six weeks after it had been ceremonially dedicated.
“I’m feeling a lot of gratitude,” Dieterle wrote, adding that the community response affirmed his initial purpose of opening the shrine, “to give everyone a moment to pause and reflect on the beauty that each of us are bringing to our world.”