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Tuesday September 2nd, 2014

Posted at 12:01pm

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Fundraisers tasked with bringing in $10 million to save Assumption Church have raised 70% of that goal and are confident they’ll have the full amount needed very soon after key donors have expressed interest in upping their pledges.

In a letter posted to the Our Lady of Assumption: Operation Basilica facebook page, fundraisers Kim Spirou, Ed Agnew and Amanda Gellman say to date they’re raised over $7 million dollars in cash and pledges towards the $10 million dollar campaign goal, which was set by the Diocese of London in 2013.

A 2007 report indicated the heritage church needed $9.8 million for repairs, including major structural work, while Bishop Ronald Fabbro said Friday the amount had climbed to $15 million after a 2012 re-assessment.

But on Saturday, the bishop claimed $10 million would be needed to change the fate of the building.

“I’d be very happy to see ten million dollars,” Fabbro said.  “Everything would change.”

Fundraisers say the initial goal of the campaign was to raise a total of $10 million dollars, with construction commencing once $7 million dollars was in hand.

Over the weekend, they say they’ve received calls from donors who have said they are willing to up their pledges.

“We have received calls from donors who have confirmed that they are willing to increase their gifts to meet this new goal of $10 million,” they said.

Fundraisers also noted other pledges have also been promised once there are assurances the construction will begin.

“The Bishop has made it clear that if the church could raise $10 million he would keep the doors of the church open,” said fundraisers in the  letter. “Our team continues to work with the parish to make this and more happen.”

Fundraisers also made it clear they haven’t received a dime for their work.

“We have been helping with the ‘second’ fund raising campaign, which in our minds has been successful. And, since December 2013 we have done so as volunteers.”

The bishop announced a plan to shutter the church building on Friday, along with a move for parishioners to Holy Name of Mary church on McEwan Street.

Assumption Church is set to close by November 3rd.

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