Sunday, March 2, 2014

Campus at Greenhill 2014 Wallingford Fireworks Celebration - Wallingford Fireworks Fund

With the first weekend of March here, as we have in each of the past four (save year one), we are kicking off our fundraising campaign.

This year we are presented with many headwind challenges starting with the weather.

In years past we would have tried to collections started this week (and in the past have) but with eight inches of snow on the ground and more forecasted we are hampered to even begin and it looks as if next weekend will be equally impaired.

Now it might sound like there’s plenty of time but there really isn’t. Although the fireworks are not normally scheduled until the Saturday after the 4th (which this year will be July 5th) the money is due to the Town of Wallingford per Mayor Dickinson’s directive by the last Friday in May which is the 30th.

That leaves us just 12 weeks to collect donations.

Last year was very successful – with Campus at Greenhilll as the Naming Convention Sponsor for the second year in a row (2012 and 2013) we were able to keep pulling donations right to the very last week and were able to restore the R Band performance which we never had been able to do prior. We are hopeful for the same success this year as well from both the perspective of keeping Campus at Greenhilll as the Naming Convention Sponsor as well as locking in the performance by the R Band.

Our efforts and your donations from 2013 covered every expense of the show – from the fireworks themselves to the Police and Fire department overtime as the Town of Wallingford shares none of the expenses of the show and hasn’t since the 2010 cancellation. We are expecting more of the same for this year as well. (I will be confirming with a call to the Mayor’s office on Monday March 3rd).

As such the costs are estimated as follows (from 2013 and expected to increase for 2014 as all costs do):

Fireworks Show 2014   $11,925.00
Police Overtime   $8,250.00
Fire Department / Overtime   $2,100.00
Port-o-lets   $200.00
Fire Marshall   $950.00
Public Works   $425.00
Board of Ed   $425.00
R Band and Sound   $3,400.00
2014 Total Show expense   $27,675.00

Now the variables.

The contract with the prior fireworks vendor has expired and the cost for the fireworks has to go out to bid. The Town of Wallingford does this – the Fireworks Fund has no part in that process.

The 2010 show was our most expensive at $16,500.00 (with the total cost of the show that year of $28,312.00 and the performance by the R Band was cut because we barely made the amount needed).

So as of right now we have no hard, fast cost on the fireworks themselves.

I have a letter in the mail to Comptroller Jim Bowes to hammer out the costs of all the Wallingford services overtime so at least with will become a known quantity.

The other major impact this year is the loss of a major work contributor on behalf of the effort in my father Geno Zandri Jr. He has been a solid supporter of the effort in years past dedicating hundreds of hours to the pail shaking collection efforts but like so many other people today – he has to curtail his time in a major way with so many other things he has going on.

His loss will be significantly felt.

Steve Murray, Wayne Montefusco and I have sat down to discuss what to do and we have split up the work and we are off.

As much as we need people’s donations we need people’s time as well to help us with the collection efforts this year.

In a week or two we will have a formal fundraising committee meeting and we are hoping new workers will step up to help.

The three of us have talked and have decided we’ll commit the time, some personal money, and effort to the cause.

The rest is up to Wallingford as it always has been to save the show once again.

Let’s roll.

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