Frances Curkpatrick was renting the land that Larry the Lobster lies on, and initiated the ‘Gofundme’ campaign to raise the money to repair the decaying icon.
The funding raised closed to $30,000, but as the block is now vacant and up for sale, the community are asking what has happened to the money.
Frances Curkpatrick said she hopes to see Larry receive the much-needed upkeep he needs, but says she is now in an awkward predicament as “many people gave [money] on the condition that we either purchased the property, would not pass the funds on to anyone to be dealt with or would guarantee that the funds would be used towards Larry’s repairs.”
She left a message on the Facebook page for her business Humbugz Honey explaining her position.
“Unfortunately for everyone Larry is in a very unusual predicament in that he's on private property and desperately needs to be repaired not just cosmetically as originally thought but structurally,” she wrote.
“It was around this time it became obvious that Larry had some serious issues that needed to be dealt with as one of his limbs were swinging in the wind. Larry has a long history as far as who's responsible for what and although relevant to prospective buyers not to the fund raising, our concern was one of public safety and responsibility.”
“The cost of bringing the building up to health and safety standards has meant buying the property was not a viable option so we are no longer trading from there but I’d like to reassure all concerned that the funds raised are in an account deposited through gofundme where they will stay until the remainder of the funds needed to repair Larry to council standards are available.”
“Although we are no longer intending to become the owners of Larry the Lobster and the funds were raised for his repair nothing has changed, the money will only be used for that purpose or will be returned to the donors , but with respect it was our campaign, a campaign that took a lot of hard work and other peoples hard earned money.
“I made a commitment to people to be accountable for the funds raised and where they’re spent.”
Frances said if the Kingston council were able to buy and relocate Larry, she would contribute the money then, but if that was not possible she would refund the money to those who donated.
She said she was available to talk to anybody who had any concerns.