|April 2, 2012
Youngstown, NY - In just a few short months, Western New York and Southern Ontario will celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812.
This week the groups responsible for the bicentennial celebration received a huge donation from the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission to help pay for the upcoming preparations.
The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission donated $70K to the three groups involved in the planning, commemoration, and reenactment of the Battle of Queenston Heights. This was the first major battle against Great Britain in the entire war.
The bi-national commission donated $20k to the Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Commission to promote events associated with the War.
Thomas Schofield, the Immediate Past Chair of the Council told 2 On Your Side the commemoration is a 1,000 day celebration stretching over a 3-year period.
Schofield said the money will go towards the opening events on both sides of the Niagara River, including an event in Buffalo's Delaware Park. Schofield explained why this funding is vital to our area and beyond.
"Its huge. It's a economic development and the tourism and educational opportunity that belongs to us on the Niagara Frontier and along the upstate corridors of Sackets Harbor to Plattsburgh where major activity occurred," said Schofield.
The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission also donated $25k each to the Lewiston Historical Society, and the Friends of Fort George.
|Albany is also sending $450k to the region for the bicentennial events, after rejecting several proposals in the past to create a commemorative commission.
That commission would have included State Senator George Maziarz (R-NY).
"Both former Governor Patterson and Governor Cuomo vetoed both of them understandably you know given the tough fiscal times, but in this year's budget we have designated part of the money that goes to the Humanities Funding is going to be used for the War of 1812," said the Senator.
Maziarz went on to tell 2 On Your Side, this money will help increase tourism in our region.
"We had a lot of celebrations here for the French and Indian War and you know the reenactors had had showed up. I mean the festivities had Old Fort Niagara were excellent tourism generators and economic generators for places like Old Fort Niagara," said Maziarz.
There's still no word yet how much Western New York will get from Albany.