“Muddy” the Mudcat History of the “Muddy” Project
If Dunnville wanted to take advantage of a Haldimand County grant for beautification projects, what might we do? When Jack Hooghiem of the local Rotary Club asked himself that question back in 2005, his answer was rather unique -a huge statue of a mudcat along the lines of the Wawa Goose or the Sudbury Nickel.
Why a mudcat? With our annual June Mudcat Festival, local sports teams (Dunnville Mudcats) and our plentiful Grand River denizens, Dunnville has long had a close association with the channel catfish affectionately known as the mudcat.
A few phone calls quickly generated a very serious level of interest in aproject to “put Dunnville on the map” both in the sense of civic pride and as a tourism asset perhaps even a place in the Guinness World Book of Records (stay tuned, it’s coming).
While there is often a friendly level of competition among local service clubs, this project is one of the first that has ever attracted the combined support of all the major clubs (Kinsmen, Lioness, Lions, Optimist and Rotary).
Beyond that, the broad level of community support is obvious from our Sponsor’s page.
So how do you build a huge mudcat and where do you put it? The answer to the first question is, “just ask Mike Walker” (owner of Mohawk Marina). Mike was totally taken by the idea and made a presentation at a 2006 meeting complete with structural drawings for a metal mudcat statue 50 feet long and 27 feet high. He subsequently built a scale model of “Muddy” which sold everyone on the concept.
And where do you put it? Just ask Haldimand County, who very generously provided us space in Centennial Park on Highway #3 at the western entrance to Town near the river (a fitting location) and also offered considerable park improvement and maintenance commitments thank you, Haldimand County.
Now, how do you finance it? Frankly, it was easier than we thought because the concept seemed to capture the imagination of our residents. Firstup to the plate were the Dunnville Kinsmen with a commitment of $5,000.
The other service clubs soon committed an additional $17,000. Haldimand County gave us a grant of $4,000 (beyond their other commitments). And our very generous corporate sponsors provided the rest for a total of about $50,000 (see Sponsor’s page).
The whole experience has been extremely gratifying. It’s always rewarding to see our community come together like this. Thank you all.
“Muddy” will be officially unveiled November 14 , 2009 please be in attendance by 11.30am hope you can attend.
Posted in the Dunnville Chronicle Nov 4, 2009
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