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Niagara Falls
Friday, December 8, 2023
Community rallies to raise cash for cenotaph repairs
Irish Harp owner Jovie Joki has been instrumental in raising the last the final $28,000 to restore the Cenotaph. FILE

Enough money has been raised to start repairs on Niagara-on-the-Lake’s landmark clock tower cenotaph.

Thanks to residents and businesses in the community, the century-old cenotaph will soon be able to undergo the internal repairs it desperately needs, said cenotaph committee member Peter Warrack.

Repairs were estimated to cost $80,500 and a campaign over the past month aimed to raise the final $28,000 needed.

Warrack said although the exact amount raised won’t be known until after a final calculation, he is confident there will be enough money – and then some.

One business in particular that really helped out the restoration project was the Irish Harp Pub and owner Jovie Joki, who is no stranger to supporting NOTL causes. 

“This is a very historical piece: it commemorates the town, it’s the vision of the town,” Joki told The Lake Report. 

Warrack said he approached Joki personally a few months ago because he is a regular at the pub and felt the bar would be happy to help out. 

“It’s one of the places that I frequent and I know that they’re always doing fundraising events,” Warrack said. 

Within two days of approaching Joki, there was already a poster on the door promoting a fundraiser for the cenotaph, he said.

Along with a donation box, Joki said, the pub had ballots for sale for six weeks of $200 gift baskets, five per cent of sales from house beers going to the cenotaph and a special night of music from Jack van Ginger in support of the fundraiser. 

Around $2,500 was raised and the Harp matched donations, ultimately donating $5,000 for the restorations.

Warrack thanked the community for all the generous donations and said more contributions are welcome.

“We don’t want to discourage anyone from donating if they wish to do so. Any money raised in excess of the goal will be held by the town for the cenotaph,” he added.

In a statement to The Lake Report, the town said it wants the renovations to begin “as soon as possible.”

A start date is still to be confirmed.

Those who wish to make a donation to the cenotaph renovation fund can do so at Virgil town hall at 1593 Four Mile Creek Rd., or the Royal Canadian Legion branch 124, located at 410 King St..

Online donations can be made at notl.com/recreation-events/community-initiatives-events.

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