Garfield Gillis of Point Prim is seeing strong donations coming in for his Bottle Village despite the negative effects of the pandemic on tourism.
Hannah’s Bottle Village is a collection of miniature buildings created by Mr Gillis’ own hands as a tourist attraction to raise money for the IWK Foundation.
“I think it’s doing pretty good,” Mr Gillis said.
So far, Mr Gillis is just shy of $6,000 in donations. His last year’s total was $9,402.
By next month, when Mr Gillis presents his donations, he expects to have close to $7,000.
He isn’t seeing the usual tourists from across the country and beyond this year but a lot of Islanders are stopping by to check out his village.
Mr Gillis didn’t expect a stellar 2020 season but traffic picked up after neighbouring Point Prim Chowder House and the Point Prim Lighthouse opened this summer.
Hannah’s Bottle Village is now in its 11th year of operation. At 71, Mr Gillis thinks the village has finished growing.
This year’s addition was an expansion to Sherwood Forest, named after the fictional landscape from the Robin Hood stories.
“I think from now on, that’s probably what I’ll be doing, adding more trees to the forest. I’d like to have a nice thick forest there some day,” Mr Gillis said.
To date Mr Gillis and his wife Bonnie have contributed more than $56,000 to the IWK Foundation.
“My goal is $100,000 before I croak,” he quipped.