Fire performers from the group A Different Spin performed at Saturday's Party on the Patio: Fire and Ice event at the Fort Erie Leisureplex. Kris Dube/Special to the Times
Saturday’s Party on the Patio: Fire and Ice event turned up the heat and raised a cool amount in support of an arts theatre at Greater Fort Erie Secondary School.
The second annual event was held at the Leisureplex and hosted 520 guests, as well as dozens of service providers and volunteers.
Ward 2 Coun. Stephen Passero, one of the fundraiser’s main organizers, says more than $100,000 was raised for the Embrace Greatness campaign – including a $50,000 donation from Canadian Niagara Power, along with a $25,000 contribution from Westwind Niagara Developments made last week.
Passero also said more dollars are coming in and an exact figure on what was brought in will be known in a few days.
With the elaborate function that provided a fire show, live music and more in the books, Passero says it wouldn’t have been possible without the many individuals and sponsors who played a role.
“It takes a lot of co-ordination, patience and generosity from a lot of people,” said Passero.
Ward 3 Coun. Kim Zanko says the many volunteers who helped before, during and after the event deserve praise.
“We were proud to see so many students volunteer toward a cause that contributes to their future, and so many alumni come back to assist an event that invests in, and enhances our great town,” she said.
Ward 4 Coun. Marina Butler says the outpouring of community support for the event over the last two years has been overwhelming and that organizers are appreciative of everyone who contributes their time and talent to make it happen.
“We are fortunate to have so many individuals and companies that rally to a cause; it makes Fort Erie an amazing place to call home,” she said.
The proposed 500-seat theatre has a price tag of $3 million and the Embrace Greatness fundraising campaign has been tasked with bringing in $2 million for the project. The remainder is split by the Town of Fort Erie and the District School Board of Niagara.
After Saturday’s event, more than $700,000 has been donated to the cause. The deadline to reach the $2 million goal is September, 2018.