The Embrace Greatness Campaign is hoping others will follow the lead of a local business that has launched an initiative to raise money toward the cost of the arts theatre at Fort Erie's new high school.
On Tuesday, Boggio and Edwards IDA Pharmacy kicked off a program with a commitment of $10,000 from the store in downtown Ridgeway, hoping customers and clients will match this amount through donations.
The $3-million theatre opened last year, and two thirds of its cost needs to be solidified through fundraising by September.
The Town of Fort Erie and the District School Board of Niagara each contributed $500,000 and the remaining $2 million is the responsibility of the Embrace Greatness Campaign, which to date – has brought in more than $800,000.
Other major pledges are anticipated in the near future and the annual Party on the Patio event in June is also expected to make a significant dent in the outstanding amount, according to Greater Fort Erie Secondary School principal Fred Louws.
Donnie Edwards from the local pharmacy says the theatre is vital for many generations in Fort Erie and that he and his partner Larry Boggio felt supporting its fundraising effort was an easy decision, also citing its up-to-date accessibility as something they found impressive – especially since the pharmacy is a long-time supporter of Community Living.
If businesses have the ability to support causes around town, this should be high on the priority list, said Edwards.
"When you set a budget for donations – it's great if it helps something local like this," said Edwards.
"You're going to be in that theatre at some point to see it – it's spectacular for the community," he said.
Located in Ridgeway, Edwards says many of his customers and patients are new residents to the area who want to be supportive of local causes – which he hopes will translate into success with the program that has already started at the store.
by Kris Dube, St. Catharines Standard