The GoFundMe campaign is long gone now, but back in August of 2015 a woman named Fran Curkpatrick started a “plastic surgery” fund to spruce up Larry the Lobster, a 30-year-old icon of Kingston, a coastal town in the state of South Australia.
Fran and her husband David ran the restaurant behind the crumbling crustacean, however Larry himself is squatting on private land. As such, there’s been some question about who exactly was responsible for fixing him up, although the fact that he needed fixing was agreed-upon by all.
Shortly after the Curkpatricks launched their GoFundMe campaign to salvage Larry’s tore-up-from-the-floor-up frame, the ABC lovingly described him as “[c]overed in bird poo, with faded paint, a hole-ridden bottom and one giant, broken feeler waving in the wind.” In short, he was a hot mess.
Now, the ambitious project is stalled after raising over $30,000 toward repairs. The Curkpatricks’ son Adam says his mom intended the funds to clean him up on the surface, but engineers brought in to assess the damage found Larry in need of more than just a simple coat of paint and a new feeler. In fact, it could cost over $200,000 to get Larry up to code.
Adam says “the money is sitting there in an account and hasn’t been touched,” while the Curkpatricks try to work it out with Larry’s legal owner Casey Sharpe. Sharpe has started to make some cosmetic repairs to the critter’s exterior, but the campaign organizer is reluctant to hand over the cash unless she can be assured that every penny will go toward more than just a fresh coat of paint.
Fran had previously stated that “many people gave [money] on the condition that we either purchased the property, would not pass the funds on to anyone to be dealt with or would guarantee that the funds would be used towards Larry’s repairs.”
“The Curkpatricks want 100 per cent of the money to go to Larry the Lobster for full restoration and if Casey can complete these tasks up to spec, he is well and truly entitled to those funds,” Adam said.
Even without the GoFundMe money, Sharpe has started work on spiffing up Larry, recruiting a team to scrub him down before he gets his paintjob. “It will be amazing once he’s finished,” he told the ABC. “He’ll basically look like he’s just come out of the pot.”