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Overwhelming

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Fort Frances and district residents have given a ringing endorsement to the new Fort Frances Public Library and Technology Centre that’s to be built at the corner of Second Street East and Reid Avenue in behind the Memorial Sports Centre.

No, it wasn’t a campaign issue during a municipal election. Nor did they vote for it in a referendum. Instead, the public spoke in a much more powerful way—with their wallets. Needing a final $35,000 to reach the $750,000 local share of the project, the “Drive for 35” phone blitz launched on Sept. 22

in fact raised just under $89,500, which pushed the “Building for the Future” fundraising campaign well past its initial goal to nearly a whopping $804,500.

In a word, incredible.

What makes this total even more amazing is that it came on the heels of the $1.5 million district residents pledged in barely six months for the “Just Imagine” campaign to bring a CT scanner to La Verendrye Hospital here. Which, in turn, followed the

initial “Care Close to Home” campaign that raised $3.5 million for the three health centres in Rainy River District, including the Phase IV renovations at La Verendrye.

That, of course, followed the fundraising drive to build the new “Ice for Kids” Arena, which was preceded by the campaign to raise money to build the Townshend Theatre.

Toss in the money raised for the skate park here, as well as the ongoing push to build a water spray park in Emo, and you get a really clear picture of just how generous district residents have been over the past decade or so.

There had to be more than a few “doubting Thomases”

around when the “Building for the Future” committee made its first public appeal to raise $750,000. Then, with the finish line in sight, even the most ardent supporters likely never dreamed how wildly successful the week-long “Drive for 35” blitz would

turn out to be.

Despite the nay-sayers who questioned whether we needed a new public library, and other setbacks that threatened to derail the whole thing, the campaign forged ahead thanks to the dedication—and faith—of a select few. Seeing their tireless effort finally come to fruition means local residents soon will be

enjoying a state-of-the-art library and technology centre that will help usher our community into the 21st century, not to mention serve as one more asset to attract new families here.

Congratulations to all involved with the “Building for the Future” campaign, and everyone who contributed to the cause.

It truly was an overwhelming effort that’s sure to reap big dividends for years to come.

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