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Castaways await rescue during a media event to promote The United Way of Thunder Bay's newest fundraiser, The Great Lighthouse Rescue. (Adam Riley / Acadia Broadcasting)

Lighthouse to host castaways

By Adam Riley Jun 2, 2023 | 1:11 AM

This month will see some rescuing taking place in the harbour here in Thunder Bay all for a good cause.

The United Way of Thunder Bay has launched a new fundraiser to replace the Great Billboard Rescue and has partnered with HMCS Griffon according to Lieutenant Commander Farley Farn.

“After some brain storming we came up with the lighthouse rescue idea its a heritage building here in Thunder bay and its iconic for our harbour as well. So we said that would be great we could tie our boat up alongside there and strand some castaways there.”

Over the past couple of years The United Way of Thunder Bay has come under some financial strain on the fundraising front, limiting its ability to help organizations.

CEO Albert Brulé believes this shift to a new location with new partners could be a way to shake things up.

“What we are striving to do is to re imagine how to engage with the community, how to reinvigorate different events, and how to inspire people and having fun and getting out and being in the fresh air with other human beings.”

Brulé notes the billboard rescue lasted for more than 25 years and is optimistic this will become a mainstay fundraiser for the organization.

This year will also feature Honourary Captains including Aubrey Rempel, a grade six student from St. Martin School who participated in the first rescue mission as part of a media event Thursday.

“It was pretty exciting to help that were stuck on the lighthouse.”

She hopes those who do end up getting castaway, work hard to earn the money to help the United Way and to bring them back to shore.

Another incentive is coming from Honourary Commander Cliff Friesen who will match all funds raised through the 13 rescue operations up to $25,000.

“I challenge ‘captains’ of industry, ‘captains’ of labour, ‘captains’ of community to join the mission by answering the S.O.S. call! Help us rescue these brave castaways and make a difference in the community.”

Rescues will undertaken from Pier 3 starting at 11:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on June 28th, members of the public are invited to come out and support the castaways and cheer on the rescue parties.

A community BBQ will be available as well as high powered binoculars to observe from shore.


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