Keeping the drive alive:

With a successful kick-off to their “buy a brick” campaign, the Rainy River Hospital fundraising committee wants to “strike while the iron is hot” and keep things in high gear.
Co-chair Larry Armstrong said the committee “took a breather” for Thanksgiving after the first week yielded $16,500 in pledges on top of the $8,500 raised during the kick-off dinner and silent auction Oct. 2, plus the more than $5,000 in “bail” for Earl Armistead.
When added to the Royal Canadian Legion Br. 54 donation of $25,000, and its pledge to donate another $1 for every $2 the community raises, the hospital project already has topped $70,000.
But with $230,000 still needed as the final local share, Armstrong said the committee’s job now is to make sure donations don’t level off after the initial burst.
“We’re trying to schedule a meeting [tomorrow] night to take the brick campaign to the public,” he said. “We want to definitely keep the momentum going.”
“We’re thinking of holding a phone pledge drive in the near future,” noted committee member Ken Johnston, editor of the Rainy River Record, who also is in charge of the build-a-brick advertising campaign.
Johnston said the fundraising drive is “still going a fair pace” and that people are still feeling the momentum generated from the first week.
“Realistically, with the Legion’s money, we only have to raise $200,000 [from the community],” he noted. “They’ve given us a third of what we need.”
Updates on the fundraising efforts will be printed every week in the Rainy River Record and every two weeks in the Fort Frances Times, Johnston said, although it still isn’t known how they will post the Legion’s “bricks” raised by their two-to-one challenge.
“We have some details still to work out,” Armstrong admitted, noting he hoped everything will be figured out after tomorrow’s meeting.
“I think the brick campaign will take off this week after people see how many pledges there are,” Johnston said. “It’s incredible how many people are excited about it.”
“Everybody is listening to the talk [about the fundraiser]. The enthusiasm is there and we have to strike while the iron is hot,” agreed Armstrong.
“The key is we want to be positive and we want to be progressive,” he stressed.