By Bill Wolcott firstname.lastname@example.org
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A local company has put “Torch Part 4” up for auction on eBay to raise money for the planned Fallen Heroes Memorial at Outwater Park.
The silicone Freddy Krueger look-alike fetched offers exceeding $1,000 during the first two days of bidding. The auction started Saturday and will continue until 12:45 p.m. Thursday.
The auction is organized by Maria and James Updegraph, the proprietors of Darkride Studios, a city-based mask and prop production house at 150 Spalding St.
”We have strong emotions about seeing this memorial take shape. These individuals (being remembered) are true heroes that chose to serve others and they deserve to be remembered,” Maria Updegraph said Monday, adding that she and James “have a lot of friends in the military. ... Tons of our customers are military.”
Darkride’s high-quality silicone masks are priced from $500 to $560, according to its website. There’s high demand for them this time of year, Maria Updegraph noted, adding that she sold a “Torch” mask for $1,525 this past Friday. Halloween order-taking ended Sept. 1, since it takes six to eight weeks to fill orders.
The Updegraphs have been in business for seven years. They called their operation “Night Terror Productions” at first, and changed it after worrying it was too scary. The shop is staffed round-the-clock by Maria, James and his brother Adam.
Torch Part 4 is in high demand because it was offered as a “soft” release to only 10 customers initially, according to Maria Updegraph. Masks will go up for sale to the general public Oct. 31 on Darkride’s website.
The Fallen Heroes Memorial is planned to remember Lockport residents and natives who died in military service, died in the line of duty as police officers or firefighters or were considered Good Samaritans. A city planning committee is hosting a groundbreaking ceremony at Outwater Park on Oct. 29 and is aiming to raise $150,000 cash and in-kind contributions to get it built.