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Realtor to cover Rainbow Crosswalk maintenance “in perpetuity”

September 19, 2020   ·   0 Comments

The vandalism of Aurora’s newly-installed Rainbow Crosswalk last month, left many residents upset and dismayed, but rather than turn a blind eye or let his dismay fester into anger, Marvin Alexander decided to take action.

The local Keller Williams realtor picked up the phone and, after connecting Mayor Tom Mrakas, stepped up ensure that this local symbol of equality and inclusion is kept clean, maintained and vandalism-free in perpetuity.

“Someone had defaced the sidewalk, there were remarks about the costs associated with it, and it really upset me,” says Mr. Alexander. “I just felt I had to do something about it. Just saying it’s terrible didn’t seem to be enough.”

Going forward, the Rainbow Crosswalk will be maintained by Town Staff and, at year’s end, Mr. Alexander says he will cut a cheque to cover all maintenance work associated with the new Yonge and Wellington landmark.

“I didn’t even know how much it would cost, but I [said to Mayor Mrakas] I really don’t care what it costs, I will pay for it in perpetuity,” he explains. “There is going to be a revitalization of that whole section of Aurora and this Rainbow Crosswalk should certainly be a part of it. I want to take the expenditure off the Town’s plate so nobody has anything to complain about.”

But it is about more than taking concerns over costs out of the equation, it is also about sending a message of acceptance to the community.

“I just think at a time like this, the world just needs to be more loving and accepting of everybody,” says Mr. Alexander. “I don’t know how to describe it other than it really resonated with me and touched my heart. I wanted to make sure the right thing was done. People were saying this isn’t the appropriate way to spend taxpayers’ money, so I though if that was really a true concern, I need to take that off the table for the municipality.

“If someone still has concerns about the fiscal spending, they should no longer have that concern. The cost of the installation was totally covered [by donation] and the cost of ongoing maintenance is also totally covered forever. I think the Rainbow Crosswalk beautifies the area, it signifies Aurora is an all-inclusive community and I am just grateful I had the chance to do something to give back in some way.”

This gratitude, in turn, was reciprocated by Mayor Mrakas.

“I was just blown away by the generosity in our Town,” said the Mayor in a statement. “First, we have two donations to cover the cost of the Rainbow Crosswalk installation and now Marvin Alexander has stepped up and will be covering all the maintenance costs in perpetuity. Thank you, Marvin, for all that you do for our community and supporting this symbol of inclusiveness and the ongoing support of our Town.”

Now that the Rainbow Crosswalk has the financial backing of three community members, Mr. Alexander says he hopes more business and individuals alike will step up to the plate for projects close to their hearts and the heart of the community as a whole.

“People can volunteer their time, they can step up financially, they can do both, but I think everyone has the ability to do something,” he says. “Whether you realize it or not, everything you do and everything you don’t do has a greater effect. You have to make a decision if you’re going to do something to make a positive impact on your community. I have no idea how many lives this may touch, but I can tell you the amount of messages I have been receiving [since Mayor Mrakas made the funding announcement] have been so kind, so it obviously made a difference to a lot of people. I just couldn’t stand by and let it sit the way it was.

“I think that the Mayor and Councillors of the Town have really stepped up and done a wonderful thing. It also bothered me that anybody could spin that in a negative way. I just wanted to express my appreciation and support for them. It is wonderful what they have done and what they are envisioning to continue to do.”

By Brock Weir



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