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Sculpture turns out to be a ringer for East Dundee man’s proposal

Blair Motl Doree Haight jump truck next sculpture.
Photos by ErSauder For Sun-Times Media

Blair Motl and Doree Haight jump in the truck next to the sculpture. Photos by Erin Sauder For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: April 23, 2013 2:02PM

EAST DUNDEE — The metal sculptures of a local man have been popping up all over Fox Valley area, most recently in East Dundee’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

One of Blair Motl’s sculptures, a dragonfly, adorns the top of the Charles J Motl, CPA & Associates building on River Street where he works. Another, a motorcycle, is located in the back of Diamond Jim’s in East Dundee. In Elgin, a face sculpture is located outside the Haight Building.

And during Saturday’s St. Patrick’s celebration parade, many watched as a truck with a diamond ring sculpture in the back drove by. As the parade route made its way past Charles J Motl, Blair Motl used the sculpture as a prop to help him propose to his girlfriend, Doree Haight of Elgin. She said yes.

Motl said many pieces came together to help make the proposal happen.

“I’d always wanted to do a big ring sculpture, and I thought I could work that into our engagement somehow,” he said. “Then there’s the parade. We sponsor it every year. It comes right in front of our office, but we don’t do a float. We just sit and hang out. Normally, people sponsor the parade to enter a float. We just sponsor the parade because we like the parade.”

However, this year, since Charles J Motl was put down for a float, he decided to take advantage of it.

But Motl also knew he couldn’t propose to Haight without her sister being around to help celebrate. Haight’s sister and brother-in-law, Karie and Michael Goodmay, live in Colorado.

Getting them to town was made possible when one of Motl’s clients came in to pay a past-due bill.

“I got the money to fly them in,” he said.

Motl then spent a couple days last week working on the sculpture to get it ready for the parade. Meanwhile, he also was juggling the March 15 deadline for corporate tax returns.

“It somehow all happened,” he said. “But it wouldn’t have without all the help of family and friends.”

Motl has been creating metal sculptures for the past decade.

“I went to a liberal arts college where they offered a little bit of everything. I went there planning on being an accountant so I pushed all my art classes to the end because I didn’t want to do them,” he said.

But after taking an art class, he was hooked.

“In accounting, everything is either right or wrong. Suddenly, you do metal sculpture and you can do whatever you wanted,” he said. “My teachers graded them and they didn’t look at me wrong at all. So I’ve been doing a balance of accounting and art for years.”

The metal ring sculpture was created from the firepit Motl had in his backyard, along with hundreds of antique lightbulbs.

“It all just came together beautifully,” he said.

Haight calls Motl’s proposal a “fairytale moment.”

“It was a complete surprise,” she said. “And wonderful to have all of our family and friends and local businesses line the streets. Everybody knew about it but me.”

She also lauds the sculpture.

“It was amazing and true to our style,” she said.

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