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New mural in the works at Beaver Dam Family Center

May 22, 2019 GMT

Beavers wearing ice skates — what else would one expect to see at an ice rink in this city?

That’s what Marilyn Thomas thought when she brought up the idea of having a mural painted inside the Beaver Dam Family Center Ice Arena.

Thomas said she wanted to express her gratitude to the organization for the hospitality they have shown her since she moved to Beaver Dam five years ago.

“I’m very indebted to this ice skating community and my coaches,” Thomas said. “This rink is just a godsend. I try to skate here at least three days a week.”

After admiring the artwork on the walls at Perc Place, a coffee shop and eatery in Hartford, she inquired about the artist, Chris Scharpf.


“I met him on a Sunday and was told he could come and paint the following week. So we made it happen,” she said.

The new mural fills the Gould Street entryway of the center. Thomas credits the Family Center’s volunteers for getting the walls prepped in time for Scharpf’s arrival last week.

The Lake Geneva artist collaborated with Thomas on the design.

“She was right there with me the whole time,” he said.

“I think this town should be ‘beaverized,’” Thomas said. “There should be beavers everywhere.”

The mural is being painted in a sepia tone, which Scharpf said gives it a very warm and inviting feel. It features both a male and female beaver on skates. When finished, the female will sport a tiara and hold a rose and the male holds a hockey stick. A beaver lodge will be painted to resemble a hockey goal.

The doors to the lobby’s warming area will each have a beaver representing the two groups that regularly use the center, the Swan City Ice Skaters and the Beaver Dam Hockey Organization.

Alyssa Stephens, board member of the Swan City Ice Skaters, said the Family Center is a volunteer-run nonprofit.

“We all work together to provide for it,” Stephens said. “Our members earn money during Packers games by working concessions at Lambeau Field. Last year’s funds were used to get new lighting and signage on the outside of the building facing Prospect Avenue and right now we’re putting in new rubber flooring in the entryway and warming area.

Stephens said the improvements and the mural will add appeal to the center.

“And Marilyn is sponsoring all the costs of this mural,” she said. “We’re so lucky to have her.”