BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – An effort to create a lasting tribute to one of Binghamton’s most famous residents got a big boost over the weekend.

Yesterday, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo announced that she has secured a $50,000 grant to help fund a 6 foot tall bronze statue of Rod Serling.

This is a small-scale mock-up of the statue’s design, with a larger than life Serling in front of a Door to Imagination that is slightly ajar.

The door will be inscribed with the words “You unlock this door with the key of imagination.”

Last October, the Rod Serling Memorial Foundation launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $90,000 to erect the monument to the Twilight Zone creator.

However, that campaign did not achieve its goal so the pledges were not collected.

Lupardo said that the long overdue tribute could be just the beginning of additional efforts to celebrate Serling’s legacy.

“The statue is one thing,” said Lupardo. “But then we’re hoping and looking to what they accomplished in Jamestown with the Lucille Ball museum and comedy center. There’s no reason why, with enough collaboration, imagination and determination, that we can’t do something similar for Rod Serling. I know people will come to see something like that.”

Lupardo said the foundation still needs to raise an additional 25 grand and another Kickstarter is planned with the hope of commissioning the sculpture later this year and installing the statue next year.

The plan is to place it in Recreation Park in Binghamton where Serling played as a child and which was the setting for one of his most popular Twilight Zone episodes, Walking Distance.

For more information on the foundation, go to rodserling.com.