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Niagara Falls
Sunday, March 26, 2023
Almost sold out, Rotary house tour sets fundraising record
Betty Knight, left, leads the Merry & Bright event at the McArthur Estate and Fran Boot is chair of the 2022 Holiday House Tour. Supplied

This year’s NOTL Rotary Club Holiday House Tour is shaping up to be the most successful one yet.

Organizers have already sold more than 3,000 tickets and revenue is more than $165,000, a record for the hugely popular event.

The daytime tour of six homes around Niagara-on-the-Lake is capped at 3,000 tickets and another 1,500 tickets were available for the the evening “Merry & Bright” tours of the McArthur Estate.

So, there are not a lot of tickets left for the Dec. 2 and 3 tours.

The Rotarians have it down to a science now, with an email list of more than 6,000 people, they have a running start to ticket sales each year.

“We have very loyal supporters who come back because they know we know how to put on a good event while raising money for our Rotary Club,” said 2022 house tour chair Fran Boot.

There are still a few openings for volunteer positions, Boot said. They’re using software to manage the schedule for their almost 250 volunteers.

Go to signupgenius.com/go/10c0e4cadac2ca0facf8-charity if you’d like to help out.

Tickets to both tours are sold online only on the Rotary Club’s website, niagaraonthelakerotary.ca/page/holiday-house-tour.

All the money raised goes toward Rotary community projects at home and abroad.

The club’s community services committee, chaired by Jamie Knight, supports many worthy causes in NOTL and around Niagara, including the NOTL Museum expansion project, the Upper Canada Heritage Trail, Red Roof Retreat and the Yellow Door Theatre Project.

The committee also helps out Gillian’s Place, Westview Centre 4 Women, NOTL Palliative Care, the Niagara Nursery School expansion and the Pumphouse Art Centre’s youth summer programs.

One of the club’s major international projects involves Hadad Primary School in Kargi, Kenya.

A picture taken at the school includes a prominent message crediting the NOTL club for its  support.

The club has helping Kargi via global and direct grants “over the last 10 or so years,” said Rotarian John Boot.

On a trip there in October with an engineer to assess expanding a water supply to nearby villages, Boot also was able to deliver some much-needed food to the community.

“Kargi is on the front lines of the fight against global warming. It is 25 kilometres from the expanding Chalbi desert,” Boot said.

“They have suffered through four years of drought and it doesn’t look promising this year.”

“On our eight-hour drive over incredibly rough roads we saw little wildlife. Most men are away herding with what is left of their cattle, camels and goats,” he said.

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