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TRURO – Words can’t express how ecstatic and appreciative Eleanor Norrie is after a national competition.

Norrie is one of the members of the First United Church’s capital campaign committee and she took it upon herself to have the church entered in the National Trust for Canada’s recent ‘This Place Matters’ competition.

At the end of the competition, the church came out on top in the Big Projects National Prize category , winning $60,000 to help replace the 100-year-old windows, with another $100,000 in donations.

“This means that we’re almost there,” said Norrie, about raising the money to replace 14 windows.

“With this money, we’re about $50,000 short.”

As part of the contest, the windows have to be installed by the end of 2018. In speaking with the restoration committee, Norrie says they’re optimistic they can reach that goal.

“A lot of the preliminary work has already been done,” she said.

The church is currently undergoing a renovation project of about $1 million. Norrie said in total, about $700,000 has already been raised.

“With the good will of the folks and different fundraisers, we’ll get there,” said Norrie. “The community has been very good already.”

During the online contest, Norrie was checking the progress multiple times a day. They could track the number of votes they were receiving, as well as donations. They were in the running with 25 other projects.

“The donations were really tremendous, from all across the country,” she said. “The enthusiasm this contest brought, the attention it brought, and the money it brought, it’s more than we ever thought would happen.”

She said appreciation and thanks go out to the National Trust for Canada for recognizing the significance of heritage projects and offering the contest in the first place.

“It’s just wonderful for them to raise money for heritage projects,” said Norrie. “We appreciate the fact this even exists.”

Work is expected to begin on the windows in the spring.