MEDINA, Ohio — Editor's note: Video above is from December 2019.
There’s a passionate push to bring two of the most legendary pieces of Christmas memorabilia to a new home in Northeast Ohio.
Mark Klaus, owner of the Castle Noel Christmas museum in Medina, is asking for help in acquiring the iconic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus puppets from the 1964 animated classic.
“This is the holy grail of Christmas movie props, so help me bring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus here to Castle Noel where they’ll have a permanent home and be enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people,” he said in a Facebook post.
His efforts come as both props will be put up for auction together next month – and they’re expected to bring in as much as $250,000. That’s why Klaus has launched a GoFundMe campaign. His goal is to put both props on display inside the Castle Noel museum.
“It’s a tough year for everybody,” Klaus said. “If you can’t do a lot, I get it. But if we had a stadium full of people like in normal days and they just all put in $2, we’d probably have enough to win this thing.”
Castle Noel’s GoFundMe has raised more than $11,500 as of 7:15 a.m. Friday, just six days after launching the initial fundraising effort. You can donate HERE.
“What we’re looking to do is raise enough money so that on Nov. 13 -- when these puppets are auctioned off -- that we can win that auction and bring those puppets to Castle Noel museum so that generations of families can come here and touch that memory and feel that joy of being that close to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
Klaus said he has a plan in mind on how to share these props when guests visit Castle Noel.
“I’ve already dreamed of how this would be. We build the sets around it so it would look like it did in the movie, and people from everywhere would be able to be right next to the most amazing thing of their childhood.”
The props are both made of wood, wire, cloth and leather, the Associated Press reported earlier this month. Rudolph’s nose still lights up, too.
Castle Noel is said to be one of the largest privately held collections of Christmas movie props and costumes, which are on display year-round in the Medina museum. Some of the highlights on display include Will Ferrell's Elf costume, pieces from The Santa Clause trilogy and dozens of props from 2000's How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey -- including the Grinch's sleigh.
Explore Castle Noel in the photo gallery below (Note: Images captured in 2018).