Saturday, January 14, 2012

Act III – The Wallingford Fireworks Fund 2012

It may only be January 2012 and the fireworks celebration might seem a long way off but if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past two years of fundraising for the fireworks it is that you can never start too early.

Last year, despite getting a better bid on the show and needing about $6,000.00 less we just barely made it; we were on our last day and had about $350.00 to spare when it was all said and done.

This year, whatever happens, everything is going to be different.

For starters, there is no way my father, Craig and I can get this done on our own. We did a majority of the work last year and a bulk of it was my father as I was hamstrung by the new job in New York City and Craig was overloaded between his primary job and his responsibilities on the Council.

I am now on the Wallingford Town Council as well and will be further limited in what I can actually get done for the Fireworks Fund as a direct result.

The first order of “business” is that I am planning to sit down with the Comptroller to get the cost of the town services that need to be paid for the event. After I have that number I plan to get some time with the Mayor. I will again ask him if the town can partner with us and cover the cost of the town services for the event and let the Wallingford Fireworks Fund come up with the money for the show itself.

If I could get him to agree to that arrangement it would effectively be a 50 / 50 split in the cost and I would be A LOT more positive about succeeding this year with restoring the event for the third time.

The prior two years Mayor Dickinson said the town could not afford even the shared cost. I really don’t expect this story to change at all this year either but I would be remiss to not even try. I will sit down with him, have the discussion and ask him for the consideration.

After that, I am going to be putting out a request from the residents for their donations again (monetary help) because without that there is no show. Additionally, I will need volunteers to stand out and collect donations as well as trying to come up with other fundraising ideas that they would be willing to work on.

I am hoping to get started in March as we did last year – that long lead time gives us our best chance to get this done.

The deadline the prior two years to have the money to the town has been the last Friday in May; that would be May 25th this year.

While I’d like to think I could take it out one additional week to encompass the weekend of June 1st I don’t think the Mayor is going to be agreeable to it. When I discussed it with him in February of 2011 he said it needed to be May 27th by 5PM. I was prepared to go back and ask for the additional time as we were so close but the end result was we didn’t need it (barely).

So the bottom line is – if we can get started over the weekend of March 2nd we have 13 weeks to collect what we need.

Tentatively that amount is $25,000.00 so we’ll need to average about $2,000.00 a week (more or less).

I’m realistic and optimistic at the same time; let’s see what we can get done Wallingford.


  1. Jason I would be willing to help out. I was also wondering if we might be able to recruit some high school students to assist with collecting, etc. As it stands now the high school students need 30 hours of volunteer work to graduate. I'm not sure if this would qualify but since it it a community based fund raiser I can't see why it wouldn't be.
    Please let me know when I could assist you

    1. Excellent Jill - We'll need all the help we can get. Please keep your eye out for an upcoming post regarding a date to get the public together (those that want to volunteer) to start setting up milestones.

      Additionally, I am not sure what the parameters are for the 30 hours of volunteer work to graduate but I'll ask - I would think we might be eligible as we are a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization

  2. $25,000 can be used in better worth wile things then fire works

    1. And you are free to pursue them and support them. In the meantime those of us that enjoy the celebration of the birth of our nation and a decades old event here in Wallingford will make our efforts to see it continue for another year.

      To each, their own. I guess it's safe to say that we won't see you there. May you enjoy the holiday just the same.