Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Kicking off the 2015 Fireworks Collections

Well gang – there may be three feet of snow still on the ground but only 12 weeks remain for us to collect the $15,000.00 donation for the 2015 4th of July Independence Day celebration as the office of the Mayor of the Town of Wallingford requires all the funds in for the show by the last Friday in May.

For 2015, the Wallingford Fireworks Fund is only collecting for the fireworks (the pyrotechnics) which is a departure from what we have done the prior five years. We will not be collecting for the town services; Police overtime, Fire Department overtime, Public Works overtime, Board of Education overtime and so on.

The Fund feels that it shouldn’t be the responsibility of the Fund nor the donors to cover overtime for town employees.

Since 2010, these are the total amounts of overtime and other services The Wallingford Fireworks fund, through its donors, has paid to the employees of the Town of Wallingford:

Police Overtime   $40,501.00
Fire Department / Overtime   $10,200.00
Fire Marshall   $4,450.00
Public Works   $1,055.00
Board of Ed   $1,610.00
     
All totals   $57,816.00

We’ve entered into a dialog with the town regarding this; they are planning a discussion during the upcoming budget workshops.

The estimated cost for services for 2015 that the Town of Wallingford will need to cover are:

Police Overtime   $9,004.00
Fire Department / Overtime   $2,400.00
Port-o-lets   $200.00
Fire Marshall   $950.00
Board of Ed   $480.00
     
2014 Total   $13,034.00

Because there is no expectation to have the R Band this year, there is no expectation to have costs for Public Works overtime for the event.

The Fund spoke at a recent Council meeting on the topic and pledged the $15,000.00 (provided we can raise it all) as long as the town covers it’s services.

With that, we will begin collecting this Saturday, March 7th, at the North Colony Dunkin Donuts (near Shop Rite) from 8AM to about noon. We will also be collecting at the Wallingford Landfill the same hours – 8AM to about noon.

Alternately – you can mail your tax deductable donation (we are a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization - tax id# is 27-2576599) to:

Wallingford Fireworks Fund
c/o 35 Lincoln Drive EXT
Wallingford CT 06492

We also accept donations online via Paypal

We hope you can help out in any way you can; every dollar helps.

I also want to make two things crystal clear in an effort to be as transparent as possible – if the Town of Wallingford chooses to NOT fund the overtime for the town services (the above total estimated at about $13,000.00) the show will NOT take place on the grounds of the schools where they have been for the past five decades.

At that point, The Fund will look for another location to host the event privately and enter into an agreement with a vendor to have the show. There are a number of pitfalls with trying to do this on our own. At the very least and with a limited budget at that point they would likely NOT be on Saturday July 4th.

I wanted to point out these two very important caveats before people started to donate. I wanted them to understand that there is a real risk of the show NOT being on the west side of town and a real risk of it not being held on Saturday July 4th.

As always – I am available for direct contact via Jason@Zandri.net or on my cell phone at 860 614 6069.

Thank you all for your prior support and your consideration for 2015

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wallingford Town Council Meeting and agenda item regarding the 2015 Independence Day Celebration

The portion of the Council meeting that is applicable to the Wallingford Fireworks Fund begins at 19:20 if you don’t want to sit through the entire meeting.

Here are the nuts and bolts – at this point there is no hard and fast decision rendered by the town.

We will fundraise this year with the intention to have the Town of Wallingford host the show on the school grounds, where they have been for decades, through a donation from the fund, as it has been done since 2010.

The Fund is not planning to raise more than the actual cost of the fireworks themselves for 2015. Traditionally this has been about $12,000.00 and we are estimating $15,000.00 this year. We would expect the Town of Wallingford to front the costs of the city services.

If the Town of Wallingford chooses at budget time to not fund enough overtime into the budgets of Police, Fire, Public Works, and the Board of Education janitorial staff then the show will not take place as a function of a donation by the fund to the Town.

At that time, we will look for other possible locations in Wallingford to privately host the show ourselves.

We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it – after the budget has been voted on and then signed (or vetoed) by Mayor Dickinson.

As an aside and as part of the discussion, in order to host the event, be it by a donation to the Town of Wallingford proper or by the Fund doing it on its own, the event will likely NOT be held on July 4th. The more likely date at this time is one week later on July 11th.

Please take the time to watch the video and take in all of the discussion – it answers a lot of questions but in the event you still have more please feel free to reach out to me directly at Jason@Zandri.net

Sunday, July 6, 2014

VIDEO - 2014 Wallingford Fireworks

The show kicked off at 9:15 on the dot and the finale started at 9:42 and lasted two minutes – it was a wonderful night for our 30 minute show; great weather and low humidity.

Three minute segment, six minutes before finale

 

Three minute segment, three minutes before finale

 


 

The Grand Finale

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Wallingford - please join us for your 4th of July Independence Day Celebration

Well Wallingford – it’s that time; this Saturday July 5th is the show. The grounds are open all day but generally people begin gathering after 7PM. The show is expected to start off right around 9:15PM or so but we do recommend that you get there for 8:30PM the latest to see well enough to find a place to sit while there is still some twilight to see by.

The weather looks to be shaping up to be very nice and the humidity looks to be decent so please pack a little something to eat or drink, grab your friends and family, and head down to Hope Hill Road on the grounds of Sheehan, Moran, and Highland Schools to grab a spot and enjoy the show. 

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Just a few reminders:

Alcohol is not allowed on the grounds of the schools; the police have a presence and they will enforce that law.

There are probably not as many trash containers as we all would like but please be considerate – if you brought it there, take it away.

Parking – it is available on the school grounds but it fills up; when you are parking in the neighborhood please be mindful of:

  • Right of way – please make sure you are not blocking people’s driveways
  • Emergency vehicles – in most cases, parking is temporarily prohibited on one side of the street; this is to make sure emergency vehicles can get to where they need to go.
  • Neighborhoods – as we park and pass through them please consider yourself a guest there and behave like one. Yes there is a big celebration going on but we are still walking through someone else’s “home” – please be considerate; don’t do something to and from your car that you’d find unacceptable or intolerable in your own neighborhood

As a final reminder – please remember, this is your show; we would not have one if all of you did not donate. We thank you so very much for the support that has allowed The Fund to restore this show for the 5th year in a row. When you see us walking the grounds and collecting for 2015 please consider donating and be as generous as your budget allows. This is the ONLY way there will be a show in 2015

As with all things regarding this effort – thank you for supporting us; we could not do it without you. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Fundraising for “The Fund” Saturday June 14th and Sunday June 15th at Wallingford Stop and Shop

HAPPY FLAG DAY EVERYONE

We are fundraising today, Saturday June 14 and tomorrow Sunday June 15 to cover the remainder of our expenses for 2014 at the Wallingford Stop and Shop.

In order to cover the $25,000.00 cost of the show for 2014 we needed to draw out our entire account and we have bills due (food costs from the dinner fund raiser, thank you letters to send, monthly checking account service costs, etc.).

We are planning to be there from 8AM Saturday to about 1PM and then from at least noon to 3PM on Sunday.

Any remaining funds beyond our current bills will be kept for the 2015 event.

If you’ve already supported us we thank you so much. If you have a couple more dollars to give we can use it, everything helps.

Beyond that the information for the show itself is as follows:

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION - SATURDAY JULY 5TH

ON THE GROUNDS OF SHEEHAN HIGH - SHOW STARTS AROUND 9:15PM

WEATHER PERMITTING – IF IT RAINS AND THE TOWN CALLS THE SHOW IT IS CANCELLED; THERE IS NO RAIN DATE

Saturday, May 31, 2014

For the 5th year running, Wallingford saves her 4th of July Independence Day celebration.

To be presented to Mayor Dickinson on Monday morning:

image

Wallingford Fireworks Fund
Jason Zandri
35 Lincoln Drive EXT
Wallingford, CT 06492

06/02/2014

Mayor William Dickinson Jr.
45 South Main Street
Wallingford CT 06492

Good morning Mayor Dickinson,

It is with great pleasure that the Wallingford Fireworks Fund presents this check to the Town of Wallingford on behalf of the citizens and business owners of the town in support of the Wallingford 4th of July Independence Day celebration.

Since 2010, the start of the fifth decade of this grand Wallingford tradition on the school grounds on the west side of town, the supporters of this event have donated their time, money, and efforts, to the preservation and continuation of the event which commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring our nation’s independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Please find enclosed the total sum of $24,959.00 for all the associated expenditures of the show which consist of the cost of the pyrotechnics, as well as all the costs for the town services used for the event, including but not limited to, Police Department overtime, Fire Department overtime, Fire Marshal fees, costs for the Board of Education overtime, as well as other ancillary costs.

It is our hope that in the future the Town will plan ahead for the reinstatement of this community event alongside all of the other community events still maintained by the town proper. We are certain the Administration understands the difference between “just” maintaining a town and supporting a prospering and thriving community and it is with that presumed understanding that consideration will be given again for this event in the future.

Until that time, we will continue our efforts for as long as we are able to perform the work and as long as we have the backing of the community.

Jason Zandri
President – Wallingford Fireworks Fund
http://www.wallingfordfireworks.org/

Friday, May 30, 2014

Volunteers confident Wallingford fireworks will happen - collecting at the Landfill and Recycling on Saturday 5/31 at 8AM

Volunteers confident Wallingford fireworks will happen (was published in the paper).

$150.00 to go at the time of this posting (12:30PM on Friday 5/30). We do have checks left for us down the Stillwood Inn so we are likely even closer.

Wayne and I will be at the resident disposal center on Pent Road (the Town Landfill) and the recycling center on John Street to collect more donations starting at 8AM on Saturday May 31st.

Please come by and see us. The weather looks nice today. If you cannot make it please consider hitting us at Paypal:


Thank you for all the support since March and helping us get this done.


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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

14 minute show at McCoy Field – Home of the Pawtucket Red Sox

This was after the Memorial Day game on May 26, 2014

Down to the final $1,000; we have been extended to Monday June 2nd

This is it folks. We had our meeting with the Council on Tuesday night to report out where we were. I took the opportunity to ask them to cover the $13,000 in city services and we were declined. I followed up with “just” the police at $9,000 seeing as how they are overfunded every year and could easily absorb their own costs.

Police

The Mayor said “NO”.

The Council made no motions so no attempt to change anything was made.

This is the end; with respect to all the increases in general, the costs for the city services now exceed the show itself. We are dictated to carry them as set by the town and they are not obligated to do anything to make it any easier for us despite the fact that they could.

All the checks I have are cleared of the accounts and I have more cash that was dropped off – we have basically $1,000 more to raise.

We have the “OK” to drop the check off on Monday morning as opposed to Friday at the close of business so that gives us the next four days.

We really need the funds in; I know many people like to write a check and mail it so if you need to do that today is the day. I need it to be deposited and cleared before Saturday so I can get a bank check to present to the town on Monday.

If you want to mail it please make it out and send it to:

Wallingford Fireworks Fund
c/o Jason Zandri
35 Lincoln Drive EXT
Wallingford, CT 06492

Other than that we do have a Paypal account to accept donations:

Additionally, donations can be dropped at Wallingford Lamp and Shade on Center Street.

We will be collecting at the Landfill and the Recycling Center on Saturday May 31st. from 8AM to about 1PM – you can swing by and drop your donations there as well.

See you at the finish line.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The cash totals are in from the weekend collections – we are still $1,267.25 from our target

All the cash is counted - we are still $1,267.25 from our target.

As a reminder here are the details of what we are now expected to pay (
please see our prior blog post where our costs rose):

Fireworks Show 2014 $11,925.00
Police Overtime $9,004.00
Fire Department / Overtime $2,400.00
Port-o-lets $200.00
Fire Marshall $950.00
Board of Ed $480.00
R Band and Sound (cancelled)   $0.00
2014 Total Show expense $24,959.00
Current cash $23,691.75
To estimated show target ($1,267.25)
     
     
     
Original 2014 Goal $30,000.00
To 2014 Campaign Goal ($6,308.25)

 

We are not going to make our 2014 campaign goals (which would have allowed us to save the R Band performance as we did last year) and we need another $1,267.25 to simply restore the show.

The clock is ticking.

You can donate by mail; make checks out to: “Wallingford Fireworks Fund” and send to:

Wallingford Fireworks Fund
c/o Jason Zandri
35 Lincoln Drive EXT
Wallingford, CT 06492

The main issue now with getting checks via mail is their clearing in time to present a check to the town by the deadline date.

We also accept donations by PayPal

Every dollar helps us reach that goal – we are only going to get there with your help.

We will be at the REGULAR TOWN COUNCIL MEETING on TUESDAY May 27, 2014 to report out to the Town Council – if you have the time to make the meeting please consider coming down.

Thank you for all your support to date – a little more gets us over the line with effectively no time to spare.

We have successfully done this in each of the prior four years (since 2010) – I know we can do this again.