Crystal Ball honors anniversary

December 26, 2018

As a way to give back to the Permian Basin Rehabilitation Center, Nikita Weaver has created a sculpture in honor of the 58th anniversary of the Crystal Ball, the yearly event that raises money for the facility.

Weaver, 20, was adopted from Krasnodar, Russia, at age 2 and went to the rehabilitation center for speech therapy and to learn to speak English. He said his family has been involved in the Crystal Ball for a long time.

“Without (the) Crystal Ball, I couldn’t have gotten the speech therapy I needed. It’s real special to me. It means a lot to me,” Weaver said.

With the 58th anniversary of the ball, which is Friday, Weaver said he wanted to do something different.

“I know there’s a lot of people that give a lot of money. There’s a lot of people that work very hard and help donate to this cause. …,” Weaver said.

The metal sculpture is currently outside the Odessa Country Club where the Crystal Ball will be held. Weaver is an escort for this year’s ball.

The sculpture stands 12 feet tall and weighs 1,000 pounds, Weaver said.

“I thought about making something kind of different. I wanted something to replicate the Crystal Ball. I thought making a sphere or making a ball would be kind of boring because I like to make things where you’re able to think about them. I thought about what if we made the ball a two dimensional ball where we have five different rings. The five rings represent the 50 years. … The diameter of the rings is five feet and eight inches. That represents this year’s 58th … anniversary,” Weaver said.

The rings are in primary colors.

“I have talked to the people at the rehab center. They just got done doing an outdoor facility, and so they told me they wanted some colors. They did more of the color scheming. I wanted to fit their purpose and what they want to do with it as their gift. I wanted to make sure they were happy and pleased with it,” Weaver said.

However, he hasn’t really said much to the center about the finished product. Wednesday at the country club was the first time it was revealed for the press. It will be moved after the ball.

Weaver said it took him two or three months to make the sculpture. He noted that he had help from Taylor Grimes from Enertech Industries Inc., for transportation; Joe Hurt and David Perry, PBP Fabrication Inc., for fabrication; Tommy Hawkins, Hawkins Construction Co., for concrete; Chris Johnson and Gene Smith, Chaparral Industries Inc., for painting; Dick Gillham, for coordination and material, and the Rea Charitable Trust.

Gillham said Weaver has taken nearly every welding course at Odessa College and has become very competent at the craft.

Weaver said he is now a certified welder. He works at LCM Industries and does welding on the side.

Wes Hunt, who handles publicity for the Crystal Ball, said Weaver and Gillham have created other projects together. One of the first was a table that resides in Gillham’s home.

Gillham said everyone that was asked to help stepped up.

“It was really kind a city deal because everybody pitched in and they all volunteered their time and their effort and their expertise,” Gillham said.

Weaver said it was an honor to meet and work with other people on the project.

“It’s honestly really fun to give back to … the rehab center and the Crystal Ball. I think the most enjoyable part is being part of the community, helping the community, meeting the community, having a dream and completing the dream,” Weaver said.

He added that it was amazing to have the support of great people behind him and he appreciates everyone.

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