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Apr. 16, 2021 | Friday
Local News
Pandemic Heroes: Ryan Crawford, Paul Harber, David Watt
David Watt, Ryan Crawford and Paul Harber. (File/Richard Harley)

Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Three Musketeers of giving – Ryan Crawford, Paul Harber and David Watt – have been nominated as Pandemic Heroes.

Throughout the pandemic, and long before, the three restaurateurs have consistently made efforts to give back to the community and spread positivity.

At the beginning of the pandemic, as advertising revenue began to decline due to closures and lockdowns, Crawford immediately set out to help The Lake Report, recognizing the importance of balanced and accurate local reporting during the pandemic.

He organized a GoFundMe which raised more than $6,000 to help keep the news coming.

He also collected donations for the paper at his restaurant, Ruffino’s Pasta Bar & Grill.

In June 2020, the three helped co-ordinate gift baskets to go to Niagara seniors living in long-term care homes along with Meals on Wheels deliveries.

At the time, Watt, owner of the Garrison House restaurant, told The Lake Report it was the least they could do to help seniors who were isolated in their rooms due to COVID-19.

Crawford echoed his sentiments.

“It’s like the elderly are just lonely, sitting by themselves. And sometimes their family can’t even visit them, so we just wanted to kind of cheer them up and give them something to enjoy. We want to make them smile. We’re chefs and we love making people smile through our food and through gifts through whatever we do,” he said.

In September and in February, the three helped the raise money for the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum by providing food for its reinvented History in the Vineyard fundraiser.

Over the course of the pandemic, these three individuals have gone above and beyond to make our lives just a little bit brighter.

Harber, proprietor of Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery in St. Davids, is widely known as a generous contributor to the community. Besides all his other efforts, he also donated bottles of sparkling champagne to the Pandemic Heroes project.

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