“When we work together, there’s no end to what we can do.”
Those were the words of Quinte West Mayor Jim Harrison when talking about the generosity of the Quinte community in supporting the National Air Force Museum of Canada’s new theatre and education centre.
Many other dignitaries including 8 Wing Colonel Mark Goulden, Warden of Hastings County Rodney Cooney, members of the Belleville Kiwanis Club and representatives from Shorelines Casino, came together and made donations to support the cost of building the 122-seat theatre at the official campaign launch on Wednesday evening.
The theatre is being named the Elsie and Norman Cross Theatre, paying homage to two benefactors and regular visitors to the Museum.
The project is estimated at $825,000 and Museum Foundation Board Chair Susan Scarborough says they are now close to 70% of their funding goal. The fundraising drive began in November 2015.
Scarborough says all the money needs to be raised through other cash donations and pledges in order for the project to go forward with construction.
She says any type of financial support is helpful and crucial.
Scarborough adds that education for visitors and showcasing the great heritage of the Royal Canadian Air Force, especially for young people, is important.
Chris Colton, outgoing executive director of the Museum, says once the money goal has been reached, the plan is to break ground in November of this year, with a tentative opening set for April 1, 2019, the 95th anniversary of the RCAF’s formation.
The theatre’s entrance will be located inside the Museum’s gift shop.
The list of donations is as follows:
City of Quinte West, council- $50,000
Hastings County- $20,000
Belleville Kiwanis Club- $9,500
Shorelines Casino Belleville- $3,500