FRANKVILLE, ONT. — The mural for a former Ottawa Senators goaltender that was removed from a bedroom wall in Frankville, is now ready to be auctioned off to raise funds for a young Brockville girl fighting cancer.
The mural of Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Domink Hasek was carefully removed from the home near Brockville in October and sent to the original artist who painted it, Michael O’Shea in Perth, to be touched-up.
It is now back in Frankville, waiting for the auction to start on Friday Dec. 18.
“Honestly, 2020 is going to end on a great note. I believe that’s really where we’re heading,” said Jennifer Hope, the owner of the home where the mural was located.
Hope thought up the idea to auction off the mural when she heard about the McCallum family’s daughter, Hope, battling cancer and having to go for treatment in Kingston.
McCallum’s father, Garrett, lived in the house Jennifer Hope now resides in with her family, and the mural of Hasek was in an upstairs bedroom.
Hope says O’Shea did an excellent job bring the painting back to life.
“He had a vision for about the two weeks that it took to get down and give it to him; he just kind of rolled with it. Rolled with his imagination, that’s what artists do and it turned into something amazing,” said Hope.
The Ottawa Senators also jumped on board to help after hearing about the story on CTV News Ottawa.
“It was Hockey Fights Cancer month in the NHL, which is a big time for us and we just thought, you know what, here’s a great story of a local family in Brockville and I just wondered if there was something we could do,” said Brad Weir, senior director of the Senators Community Foundation.
Weir made it his mission to find the photo that inspired the mural to see if Hasek would sign it.
The first person he reached out to was Garrett McCallum, who thought he knew where it came from.
“I sent him a message and I asked him where he feels like he had found the photo,” Weir said.
“He said it was from the cover of a magazine called Goalie’s World. So I went and checked if Goalie’s World was still in business and unfortunately they are not. So I wasn’t able to get the photo that way. Then it was like, well, he is wearing his home jersey so maybe we took it. So after a few hours of digging through archives photography I was able to find it!”
Another employee reached out to Hasek’s agent and managed to get his contact information in Prague, Czech Republic, and the picture was sent to him.
“Dominik was great. He was literally texting me, which was funny sending me the pictures and sending them back and it all went very smoothly,” Weir said.
“We also got him to sign an extra picture for the McCallum family for just a nice keepsake.”
Hope had also received an autographed Hasek jersey from a viewer in the mail.
“A wonderful lady in Newington actually had this jersey since the 05-06 season as an incentive from the Ottawa Senators if you pre-purchased season tickets,” said Hope.
“She knew the value of it and she knew the ‘Dominator’ was amazing and it sat in her closet for 15 years and when she heard the story on CTV News she knew exactly how to repurpose the jersey and give it a whole new meaning.”
The jersey was sent to Ottawa to be numbered and lettered by the Senators.
“Anything that we can add that’s going to potentially raise a little bit more money for this family was something that we wanted to do,” Weir said. “Right away I asked her to send it to me and we gave it our people here and had it lettered and numbered so now it looks like real deal. Just like the jersey that he would have worn in the game.”
Both items are now included in the online auction in separate lots – the signed photo with the mural and the jersey in another lot.
Rideau Auctions in Winchester offered to host the online auction free of charge and it will begin on Friday, Dec. 18.
“Jennifer Hope has gone above and beyond and really shown in spades that there was nothing that was going to get in her way from this becoming a fundraiser for this very important family,” said Weir.
“My favourite part of this job is not only meeting families like this but meeting people like Jennifer who are just so passionate about helping others. That’s really what it’s all about,” Weir said.
“To literally cut a mural out of a wall to auction it is, just, I can’t say I’ve heard of anything like it. But her enthusiasm is just infectious it was like if you are going to go to that length I mean it’s the least we can do to try and get Dominik something in the Czech Republic and see what we can do. It was pretty cool.”
Wier also noted that when the team reached out to Hasek it was Hockey Fights Cancer month, where player and fans are encouraged to take a picture with an ‘I Fight For’ card.
“It’s really an opportunity for fans to put the name of someone that they care about that is battling this terrible disease and just it’s really a message of support,” said Weir.
“When I sent Dominik the pictures, I included one of those cards, so we have a nice picture of Dominik with one of the cards,” said Weir. “The NHL is very passionate about Hockey Fights Cancer and wanted to use the image in this story as one of the stories they will feature in their Hockey Fights Cancer month this coming season.”
Hope is just thankful that her plan has all come together and she is willing to help raise money for a good cause.
“They’re (the McCallum family) thrilled. I think they are really overwhelmed and overjoyed with what’s going to be happening here,” Hope said.
“It’s a huge financial burden that they are facing. It’s a lot of stress and if we as a community can come together and relieve that stress for them. That one stress, in two years of something that’s going to be very tough it just means the world to me,” Hope said.
“I just want to thank everyone from the very beginning in the biggest and smallest ways from bringing the mural down to helping with supplies. CTV News for making this story amazing. The Senators Community Foundation, thank you so much for everything you’ve done,” Hope added.
“And I want to thank my husband for letting me tear apart a perfectly good room to start this crazy project!”
Hope posted a lengthy thank you for everyone involved on her Facebook page on Wednesday.
The online auction link to the Hasek mural can be found on the Rideau Auctions website.
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