IROQUOIS FALLS - While there may be only nine days of Christmas shopping left until Santa slides down your chimney, you have even less time if one of the items you plan on wrapping up and putting under your tree is part of the online silent auction in support of Kid-Sport.
Bidding on the impressive list of sports memorabilia — which come with certificates of authenticity — will officially close at 9 p.m. on Saturday.
Some of the unique items up for grabs include the trunks worn by three-time welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre during one of his Mixed Martial Arts championship bouts, along with a photograph of the MMA star — autographed and framed.
Another item that is likely to generate lots of attention is a game-used Red Kelly hockey stick, autographed by members of the rival Montreal Canadiens — including the late Jean Beliveau, Henry Richard and J.C. Tremblay — during the 1965-66 NHL season
“All of the items up for auction were donated by an anonymous benefactor,” said Nick Fasano, who founded KidSport Iroquois Falls, along with Rolly Cote and Steve Belanger.
“He is an Eskimos supporter and he believes in KidSport, so he donated all the items for the auction from his private collection.”
While the recently announced closure of the Resolute paper mill — Iroquois Falls’ largest employer — is bound to have a negative impact on the auction, Fasano stresses that the good work done by KidSport is even more important in tough economic times.
He figures the St-Pierre trunks and an authentic autographed fight glove, framed with a photo of the UFC star will be among the more popular items in the auction.
“I know the autographed trunks, on eBay, are listed for more than $1,000 and his glove is listed at more than $600,” Fasano said.
“Also, some of the autographed jerseys, like the (Doug) Gilmour, the (Wayne) Cashman and the (P. K.) Subban, the Bobby Hulls, should do well.”
The autographed jerseys available in the auction include a Bobby Hull Chicago No. 9 red jersey, a Bobby Hull Winnipeg No. 9 blue jersey, a Doug Gilmour Toronto No. 93 blue jersey, a Wayne Cashman Boston No. 12 black jersey, a P.K. Subban No. 76 red Montreal jersey, a white Boston Bruins jersey signed by Rick Smith, a white child-sized Maple Leafs jersey signed by a number of Toronto players, a Philadelphia Flyers practice jersey autographed by Reggie Leach and a Cody St. Jacques No. 30 red Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds jersey.
There are also a number of game-worn Abitibi Eskimos jerseys up for auction, including Eric Robichaud’s No. 74 white jersey from the 2013-14 season.
Also available is a white Eskimos jersey autographed by all the players from the team’s current roster.
In addition to the Kelly stick, other hockey sticks available include an autographed Guy Lafleur game-used stick, an autographed Bobby Hull stick, a Bobby Hull game-used stick, an autographed Patrick Roy game-used stick and an autographed Martin Brodeur game-used stick.
Among the most popular autographed photos up for grabs is a black and white print of Bobby Orr’s famous leap through the air after scoring the 1970 Stanley Cup-winning goal against the St. Louis Blues.
Another popular framed black and white print that is sure to be popular is a sketch of John Ferguson, George Chuvalo, Eddie Shack, autographed by all three iconic legends.
There are also framed and unframed autographed photos of Bobby Hull, Sidney Crosby and Eric Lindros.
“This guy didn’t just collect hockey, either,” Fasano said.
“He has got a bit of everything.”
Some of the non-hockey items include a framed picture of the Ali-Frazier Fight of the Century, autographed by Joe Frazier, and framed picture of Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown Winner of Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes, autographed by jockey Ron Turcotte.
“It’s our 10th-anniversary,” Fasano said.
“We have distributed more than $22,000 in grants, providing the opportunity for 120 kids to participate in sports and physical activities in our area during that time.”
The association between Kid-Sports Iroquois Falls and the NOJHL franchise goes back to the formation of the charitable organization 2004 and one of its main source of revenue is the Chuck-a-Puck competition it holds during the first intermission of Eskimos games.
Potential bidders can view the items by visiting www.eskis.com/page/show/1498702-kidsport-abitibi-eskimos-silent-auction-2014.
In addition, the items will be on display on the upper concourse of the Jus Jordan Arena during the Eskimos home games Tuesday against the Cochrane Crunch and Saturday against the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners.
Bids can be placed by emailing Fasano at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 705-231-0808. They can also be made in person at the next two Eskimos games.