Iconic Larry’s Dawg House Goes Gold For Childhood Cancer Awareness
Passion Works Studio and the Ohio University football team, in partnership with nonprofit Turn it Gold, transformed the drive-thru of iconic gold Larry’s Dawg House.
Gold is the official color of the Childhood Cancer Awareness Ribbon. Turn it Gold’s mission is to raise awareness of childhood cancer in order to change the percentage of dollars invested in childhood cancer research. Passion Works is a not-for-profit collaborative creative space that fosters inclusion, connection, purpose, and belonging to people of diverse abilities.
This is the seventh year that OHIO Athletics has partnered with Turn it Gold and Passion Works. During the 2021-2022 academic year, OHIO will host six Turn it Gold track and field games in football, volleyball, soccer, field hockey, and men’s and women’s basketball. Team activities include working with Passion Works Studio to visually represent Turn it Gold’s mission in this region. Art projects included ribbon banners hung from the armory, a mural on the back of the Valero gas station, and a gold playground at the Athens branch of the Athens County Public Library.
The Larry’s Dawg House mural was designed by artists from Passion Works Studio and features art by Andrew Bianco, a child who underwent treatment for rhabdomyosarcoma from 2018-19. During the month of September, which was During National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Larry’s customers watched OHIO soccer players and studio artists bring the mural to life. The Athens community will celebrate the completion of the mural at 7 p.m. on November 18 with a groundbreaking ceremony. Several families affected by childhood cancer will be honored.
“I am honored to be associated with organizations that bring joy and support to so many people in our community,” said Jim Stricklin, owner of Larry’s Dawg House. “I am proud to have a mural by Passion Works artists and children touched by cancer on our drive-thru wall. Our customers love it. I love it. This is what makes Athens so special.
Patty Mitchell, Executive Director of Passion Works Studio, described her partnership with Turn it Gold as “a festive adventure that amplified the mission of both organizations.”
“Through the collaborative artwork of adults with and without developmental differences, we raise awareness of a difficult life experience through whimsical images,” she said. “In this mural, hot dogs, hamburgers and shakes dance while golden ribbons adorn the wall. Each gold ribbon represents the lives of children and families affected by childhood cancer.
The studio strives for zero waste by recycling discarded materials and uses materials that are respectful of the environment and people. The studio has created a “turn it gold with passion” product line featuring golden passion flowers in various sizes. A percentage of each sale is donated to Turn it Gold.
“We presented a Bold Award to Passion Works in 2019 in recognition of their creative and impactful efforts,” said Angela Dina, Executive Director of Turn it Gold. “We are grateful for the studio’s willingness to stand in solidarity with those affected by childhood cancer.” Twenty percent of Larry’s Dawg House sales on November 18 will go to Passion Works.
The partnership between Turn it Gold, Passion Works and OHIO Athletics is coordinated by Dr Lynn Harter, Professor and Co-Director of the Barbara Geralds Institute for Storytelling and Social Impact. Harter has been involved with the Houston-based nonprofit since co-producing and directing the documentary, along with Evan Shaw, Lifelike forever: a Turn it Gold movement. The film showcases the efforts of Turn it Gold as it collaborates with universities and communities across the country. The film is distributed by PBS affiliates across the country and is available on Amazon Prime.
The partnership was strengthened by a recent donation from the Sugar Bush Foundation, a supporting organization of the Ohio University Foundation. Funds from the Sugar Bush Foundation support the efforts of Passion Works Studio and the Storytelling Institute as they create “pop-up” community art experiences in places where people live, work and congregate. The mural was donated by Eric Lucas, President of Carpet One Floor and Moore.
“The Sugar Bush Foundation is proud to partner with Passion Works and the Storytelling Institute to joyfully help elevate our region as a place and people of tremendous strength, amidst the very real struggles of life,” said Hylie Voss, president of the Sugar Bush Board of the Bush Foundation. “We believe in the power of partnerships, as so beautifully exemplified by the mural painted by Passion Works artists and OHIO student-athletes on the iconic wall of Larry’s Dawg House.”
To learn more about the Turn it into gold with passion initiative, watch this digital story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ2X-wF8rH4.