Jeff Hill, manager of the Fort Erie Tim-Br Mart, wants everyone to show their Fort Erie pride. 'We love Fort Erie' T-Shirts are now on sale at the Garrison Road business. Proceeds will be donated toward the cost of construction for the town's new state-of-the-art theatre, Greater Fort Erie Centre for the Arts. Sarah Ferguson
/Fort Erie Times/Postmedia Network
Jeff Hill loves Fort Erie so when he learned a new state-of-the-art theatre will be built, he wanted to do something to help.
Hill, the manager of Fort Erie Tim-Br Mart at 584 Garrison Rd, decided to sell T-shirts with the phrase ‘We love Fort Erie,’ with proceeds going toward funding the new theatre.
The T-shirts, which come in black, blue or gray, are being sold at Tim-Br Mart on Garrison Road for $15 each, with $5 from every sale being donated to the theatre.
“We basically cover the cost of the T-shirt and all of the leftover money goes directly to the theatre,” Hill said.
So far sales have been good, generating more than $800 which will aid in the construction of the theatre.
Last February, Fort Erie’s councillors agreed to partner with the District School Board of Niagara to fund a new theatre, the Greater Fort Erie Centre for the Arts, to be built alongside the new high school, Greater Fort Erie Secondary School. Each party has agreed to contribute $500,000 toward the $3 million cost to build a theatre, with a committee of volunteers to raise the remaining amount.
Hill is a friend to Fred Louws, the future high school’s principal and member of the theatre’s fundraising committee, which is another reason why he wanted to get involved in the project.
“I know Fred (Louws) well and I just think (a theatre) will be good for the community,” Hill explained.
“I’m a big music person and I played guitar as a kid. I think the theatre is important for the kids,” he said.
The idea to create the shirts was inspired by a number of businesses and organizations that displayed ‘We love Fort Erie’ signs in windows.
“A church across the street from us, Victory Church, had a sign on display and a few other businesses displayed signs, too. We also put a sign up that said ‘We love Fort Erie, too.”
Hill became frustrated when someone vandalized the church’s sign.
“It made me angry when the sign was destroyed,” Hill said.
“I put a message on Facebook about the sign being destroyed and it had 3,000 views, and a bunch of shares. After seeing the response, I thought maybe we could do something. That’s when I thought we could make the T-shirts.”
For more information about Greater Fort Erie Centre for the Arts visit www.gfecentreforthearts.com.
Fort Erie Times