24M: The DRIVE4COPD Monument Unveiled in New York City

September 14, 2011


Two-Ton Pinwheel Monument Raises Awareness Of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Ridgefield, CT, September 14, 2011 – Landmark public health campaign DRIVE4COPD today announced the unveiling of 24M: The DRIVE4COPD Monument, a visual representation of the impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the United States. Reaching 14 feet at its highest peak and spanning half a football field, this first-of-its-kind monument comprised of 24 large-scale pinwheels to represent the 24 million Americans who may be living with COPD, was designed by internationally renowned artist and sculptor Michael Kalish.

As Kalish is famous for, the monument uses license plates as its medium. A total of 2,400 license plates were used to construct the 24 large-scale pinwheels, each standing between eight to 14 feet tall with a six-foot span. The number of license plates from each of the 50 states reflects the percentage of that state’s population affected by COPD. Each of the 24 pinwheels is secured to a base formed into the shape of one or more states that together form the map of the contiguous United States.

“I was shocked to learn that as many as half of the people who may be living with COPD don’t know it and that most people are not diagnosed until they’ve already lost half their lung function,” said Kalish, whose artwork is on display in galleries worldwide and is collected by musicians, world leaders, actors and professional athletes. “It’s my hope that people will come see this monument, think about whether they or a loved one might be at risk, and do something about it.”

In creating 24M, Kalish was inspired by the pinwheel that symbolizes DRIVE4COPD since it speaks to a person’s ability to breathe. COPD is a serious and progressive lung disease that is often referred to as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both. It kills one person every four minutes, each year taking more lives than breast cancer and diabetes combined.

The monument also includes licenses plates donated by DRIVE4COPD Celebrity Ambassadors GoDaddy and NASCAR Nationwide Series™ Driver Danica Patrick.

When visiting 24M, people can walk through the monument following a self-guided tour to learn about its creation, the impact of COPD, and the DRIVE4COPD campaign. The exhibit includes “QR,” or Quick Response codes, that will link to DRIVE4COPD.COM for information on tour dates and locations, exclusive video of Kalish creating 24M, a downloadable walking tour script and an audio tour.

Additionally, on DRIVE4COPD.COM, visitors can take the brief, five-question screener to know their risk for COPD, and can share information with friends and family.

*DRIVE4COPD Celebrity Ambassadors are paid spokespeople of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.