“Many wonderful things can happen when a simple thought is expressed” (Winnie Glavine)
The arrival of RMHNL was a long time coming. The whole province was excited when the reality of a House being built in St. John’s was finally announced.
To support Our House and the children and families who use it, we chose to produce a tapestry based on the theme ‘I Dream’ and called on children of the Janeway Children’s Hospital to help create the visuals.
Twenty-four drawings of dreams that had helped carry kids and their families through difficult times were received from current and former partients from all parts of the province.
With support from our Guild and my employer, McInnes Cooper, an Atlantic based law firm with an office in St. John’s, and the promise of wall space at the House for at least one medium size piece we were on our way.
Children dream of the ‘simple’ things of life, things we often take for granted: a home, a family, friends, sunshine, growing up, being healthy, and free to play.
Members of the Guild turned those drawings into hooked pieces, which together made a beautiful tapestry, clearly reflecting our mission: To create a beautiful and colourful reflection of the optimism
in a child’s mind while spending time away from home and family.
On April 15, 2014, the I Dream Hooked Rug Project came to a completion when 45 little rugs were placed in collage fashion on a wall at Ronald McDonald House in St. John’s, NL.
After nearly three years, the hooked tapestry was presented by Doug Skinner, Regional Lead Partner of McInnes Cooper to Gerry Beresford, President of the Board of Trustees for RMH.
Thirty-five Guild members volunteered to hook the primary pieces of the tapestry, but we also wanted to involve the general public. Amber’s picture of sliding down the rainbow to the pot of gold was broken into pieces, which were taken all over the province so people could have an opportunity to hook. Many local celebrities hooked, including Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellows, Allan Hawco of Republic of Doyle, Artist Gerry Squires and none other than Mr. Gordon Pinsent himself.
Also trying their hand were 23 of the 24 young people who submitted drawings, together with their families and friends. Heads of major corporations, mayors, members from all levels of government, medical personnel, church leaders, Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Loyola Hearn, RNC Detective Paula Walsh, Members of HMCS Cabot of the Royal Canadian Navy, and lawyers and staff of McInnes Cooper all took part. In total, approximately 1000 people, from the very young to the young at heart, hooked on the project and signed our book of greetings for the kids at RMHNL.
Once the mats were complete, an on-line auction gave individuals and corporations the opportunity to ‘sponsor’ the placement of a Dream on the wall at RMHNL. The minimum bid for each Dream was $500.00, with the exception of Amber’s Rainbow, which opened at $1,000.00
In total, the project raised $25,000.00 for Ronald McDonald House NL.
While our Guild members played a very important role, this project could not have been a success without the amazing support of McInnes Cooper.
From its inception, the project was blessed to be served by committee members Jackie Alcock, Artist, of Corner Brook; Margaret Angel, Photographer, and Marilyn Melvin, Retired Nurse, of St. John’s; Dorothy Fewer, Retired Social Worker of Grand Falls-Windsor; Karen Brake, Retired Teacher of Pasadena; Perry Kielly, Artist, of Gander; Ruth Chaffey, Retired LPN of Lewisporte; Lenny, Margaret’s corgie; and yours truly.
Our Guild set out to create art for Ronald McDonald House because we wanted to do something nice for the kids and their families. We soon realized that it was not the Guild nor McInnes Cooper that was doing something special. Rather it was the 24 young artists who’d sent their dreams who were giving us a gift. We were just the vehicles to share their message of hope.
While the $25,000 was a tremendous gift for Ronald McDonald House, we hope the tapestry will serve positive distraction and comfort for families staying at the House – even if for only a few moments.
Our finished piece:
Click on the image to see a larger version of the image (10 MB large file). This photo by Duncan de Young (see more at: duncandeyoung.com)
The Rug Hooking Guild of Newfoundland and Labrador together with McInnes Cooper sincerely appreciate that so many took the opportunity to help us with this project.
For the children staying at Ronald McDonald House, St. John’s, NL and all over the world, we quote Ronan Keating’s song, Somewhere over the Rainbow:
“We truly wish that tomorrow’s skies will be blue, the clouds will be far behind, troubles will have melted like lemon drops and the dreams that you dare to dream have really all come true”.