Brockville – Efforts to raise funds to rebuild the “Five Mile Light” lighthouse, destroyed by fire
following a lightning strike last July, got off to an impressive start on Friday February 15th.
The campaign launch, held in the aptly named Lighthouse Theatre in Brockville’s Aquatarium, had a surprise donor whose announcement brought ear-to-ear smiles to fundraisers and a real sense of
optimism about achieving their goal.
Jason Clark, president of Kingston based St. Lawrence Cruise Lines, and owner of the Canadian
Empress Cruise ship, announced a $100,000.00 donation to the campaign in memory of his late
uncle, Bob Clark, founder of the company and a lover of St Lawrence River history.
In making the surprise presentation in memory of his late uncle, Jason described him as a self-made entrepreneur and proud Canadian, a man with a history of community involvement and a man who loved history and the St. Lawrence River.
“If my uncle was alive today and informed of this project, I have no doubt he would be standing here before you in full support. He would be proud to be part of this effort,” he said.
Fundraising committee chair Bob Runciman described the donation as “nothing short of
magnificent,” commenting that making such a significant contribution to the rebuilding of a river icon was a fitting tribute to “a man who loved the history surrounding the river and the islands and sought to bring people from around the world to this special place.”
MP Michael Barrett, MPP Steve Clark, Elizabethtown-Kitley Mayor Brant Burrow and United
Counties Warden Pat Sayeau all lent their support to the launch with Steve Clark urging “anyone
with an interest in our history and life on the river, to get behind this worthy effort.”
The committee will be seeking donations throughout Brockville and surrounding areas as well upper New York State and hope that the majority of people who enjoy the St. Lawrence River and its significant role in history will donate to the Five Mile Light rebuild. Donations of $20.00 and over will be eligible to receive a tax receipt.
The Five Mile Light was a one of a kind historic treasure on the Canadian side of the St. Lawrence,
the last of 9 erected between Kingston and Prescott in the mid 1800’s.
For more information and to donate, go to the committee’s website: www.fivemilelight.ca