Wing Ding gets station $5,000 closer to completion 0
Kim Armstrong, and best-dressed winner Deb Jeffries made sure everyone got a taste of home-made pie at the Bancroft Railway Station restoration project Spring Wing Ding fundraiser at the Bancroft Legion on April. 21. MICHELLE ANNETTE TREMBLAY
Supporters of the Bancroft Railway Station Restoration Project had a chicken-wing-chowin', foot-stompin', knee-slappin' good time on April 21 at the Spring Wing Ding fundraiser held at the Bancroft Legion.
Organizers estimate that after expenses over $5,000 was raised, which will help fund the restoration of the Bancroft Railway Station, set to re-open in June 2012. The station will house the Bancroft Gem and Mineral Club Museum, the Regional Tourist Information Centre, Chamber of Commerce offices, and the Mineral Education Centre.
"It will once again become a hub for the community - a major attractor in the downtown area that will be the destination for visitors, school groups, business owners, and community organizations," said Chris Drost, the project's administrative coordinator. She explained that the station will host geology students from colleges and universities, as well as local and visiting elementary and high schools to supplement their mineral and mining programs, and will increase tourism to the area and "result in increased business and attention to the Bancroft region."
Close to two hundred people attended the fundraiser, which included an all-you-can-eat chicken wing dinner coordinated by Chef John Schneeburger from Loyalist College in Belleville, and a home-made-pie-extravaganza. There was also dancing to live country music by Blue Wing, a line-dancing demonstration, western-themed glam photos, and a silent auction, as well as raffles and door prizes.
"With so much assistance, and donations from our amazing community, it was a huge success," said Janis Whitehead, President of the Bancroft and District Chamber of Commerce, which has spearheaded the station project. More than 60 businesses and individuals donated cash, prizes and silent auction items.
"I think we had a stellar event!" added Whitehead. "So many individuals went out of their way to make this a success. We are very humbled."
The total price tag of the station project is estimated to be about $877, 000, most of which has already been raised. After the Wing Ding's contribution, around $135, 000 is still needed to complete the project on time.
"There will be many other ways for folks to continue to support the station project to its completion," said Whitehead.
Currently a penny drive is underway at the TD bank in Bancroft, and on June 2 the Bancroft Business Improvement Area (BBIA) will host a community-wide tailgate yard sale, that the railway station fundraising committee will participate in. Also on June 2, local auctioneer Oscar White will hold an auction at the station site, with profits going to the project. Whitehead urges people to watch the media for upcoming work bees and events.
"We will be conducting several work bees at the station over the next two months," said Whitehead, adding that they will need help with painting, insulating, drywall installation, and building cabinets.
"We are looking for skilled and unskilled labour to be donated for these jobs, so contact Don Koppin Contracting if you are a tradesperson who can donate a couple days work, or if you are simply an arm and a leg who wants to be a part of history."
Whitehead says, already, the amount of community support for the railway station restoration has been staggering.
"Without the outpouring of support from individuals and businesses in our community, the municipality, and the support of the federal and provincial government, this project would never have happened. The Bancroft Railway Station is almost completed, and when it is, it will be a shining example of what a community can do when it works together. In North Hastings, we have a pretty long record of doing just that."