WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — Waterbury's mayor is leading an effort to buy and restore the former Holy Land religious theme park.

Mayor Neil O'Leary tells the Republican-American that more than 100 people have donated a total of $30,000 in the first month of fundraising by the group, Holy Land Waterbury LLC.

The organization hopes to raise $350,000 to buy the property.

Holy Land USA was an 18-acre religious attraction on a hillside overlooking the city. Closed for years, it featured a 50-foot illuminated cross that served as a city landmark as well as replicas of Bethlehem and Jerusalem made from scrap wood, chicken wire, sheet-metal and other materials.

The mayor says donations have ranged from $5 to a $3,000 contribution from the local chapter of the Italian service club UNICO.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.




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