Organizers for the Boblo boat restoration project are soliciting help from the public to continue renovations on the boat after a fire, believed to be caused by a welding spark, engulfed the historic boat.
The Boblo Island boat, S.S. Ste Claire, was built in 1910. It took passengers to Boblo Island Amusement Park until 1991 when it was sold.
Ron Kattoo, the current owner of the ship, started a fundraiser to restore the boat with a goal of raising $500,000.
"After Friday’s devastating fire, for a moment, it felt as if that dream died," read a post on the GoFundMe page set up for the project. "Since then, so many people have reached out to us, telling us about their memories and begging us to continue the restoration. This outpouring of support is exactly what we needed in this time of desperation. We want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the support you have already given us.
"We have lost everything and are reaching out to you for help. We need to start from scratch with everything from tools, lumber, paint, steel, and funds. Anything you can donate brings the dream one step closer to reality. This ship holds sweat, blood, and tears, but most of all, love and memories. SS Ste. Claire is a Detroiter and will fight like a Detroiter."
For more information on the restoration project, visit www.bobloboat.com.