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2014-05-15 at 13:39

Look up, way up

By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com
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It was chilly.

It was windy.

A flurry or two weren’t out of the question.

But on Thursday, there was nary a complaint in earshot, as 37 teams of four braved the wintry spring weather and shot into the sky atop a pair of scissor lifts, all in the name of a good cause – the United Way’s 22nd annual Billboard Rescue.

It’s the single largest fundraiser of the year for the charity, which funds 28 different organizations in Thunder Bay.

“It’s huge. In the 21 years prior to this we’ve raised $1.6 million for those charities and programs. This year we set a goal of $150,000. Last year we finished the year at $146,000 and with a couple of extra teams we feel we can hit that target.”

The weather was actually helping the fundraisers out, he added.

“It’s pretty cold,” said Nitz, teeth chattering. “It’s having an impact on the donors. They’re donating more money because they know how cold and passionate those folks are up in the scissor lift.”

The event also attracted plenty of hungry people in search of a hot lunch, the charity barbecue wafting the smell of juicy hamburgers throughout the Intercity area.

Lowery’s Shawn Christie hosted the Billboard Rescue at his Central Avenue location and said it’s been a super successful day.

“The United Way helps fund 28 agencies, over 65 programs and 100 per cent of the proceeds from this event stay right here in Thunder Bay,” Christie said. “So the money doesn’t go down south. It stays here helping out those people who are in need for all kinds of different services.”

The top three fundraising teams will win prizes for their efforts, while any single participant who raised $500 or more will be entered into a separate prize draw.

The barbecue continues until 2 p.m.

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