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Mike Hjelle with sculpture

Mike Hjelle of Mason City stands by "For the Love of the Game," in June 2017, a sculpture he hoped to purchase in honor of his late friend Mark 'Doc' Detra. A typographical error caused a change in plans, but his mission continues.

MASON CITY | Friends of Mark "Doc" Detra are hoping to honor his memory in a special, permanent way.

Detra umpired for the Mason City Parks and Recreation Department for 40 years and was known as "Mr. Mohawk" for his devotion to Mason City High School sports teams. He died May 15 at the age of 68.

Mike Hjelle of Mason City said Detra's friends wanted to pay tribute to Detra in a way that would also benefit the city he loved, Mason City.

They are raising money to purchase the "For Love of the Game" sculpture, which is in front of the police station, and move it to "Doc's Diamond," Field No. 1 at Frederick Hanford Park.

The purchase price is $26,000. "We hope to raise the full amount," Hjelle said. "We will hold on to all the checks until the fundraising is done.

"If we don't have enough to buy the sculpture, we will return all the checks. Any cash collected will go to the scholarship fund started in Detra's name at Mason City High School," he said.

Hjelle said the project has been approved by the Mason City Park Board and is being coordinated through the River City Sculptures on Parade program.

Anyone wishing to donate should make checks out to River City Sculptures on Parade and write "Doc's Diamond" on the memo line.

Checks should be sent to River City Sculptures on Parade, 9 N. Federal Ave., Mason City, Iowa 50401. Those wishing to make a donation in-person should stop in at that address.

Anyone with questions can contact Hjelle at 641-430-7897.

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