Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wallingford 4th of July Independence Day Celebration donation letters are in the mail

Below is a screen shot of the letter that was mailed today and directly below is the text of the same.



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

I wanted to drop this letter to you to express my personal thanks once again for your past support to the Wallingford Fireworks Fund and the Wallingford 4th of July Independence Day Celebration.

The efforts of the past five years have allowed the Wallingford Fireworks Fund, with your help, to save Wallingford’s Independence Day celebration. Together, we have raised nearly $130,000 to continually save the event as shown by the cost outline below.

Fireworks Show



Police Overtime



Fire Department / Overtime






Fire Marshall



Public Works



Board of Ed



R Band and Sound




Five Year Total



The fireworks show for 2015 has again gone unfunded by the town. The difference for 2015 is that The Fund is only making the effort to raise the $16,500 for the pyrotechnics (fireworks) without any consideration for the town services. We have made it clear to the town that as an organization, we will not be collecting for the town services. We are the only non-profit that gets charged in full for town services and while we have always felt that was an inequity there was little we could do to change that. The town was never interested in funding those costs and merely took the stance “do it all or the celebration will not be held.”

The Town of Wallingford still has not budgeted for those costs. None of the departments have asked for nor been granted the additional overtime into their budgets.

With that, we are rolling the dice. The Fund is going to leave it to the Town Council to make the adjustments in the budgets to cover the approximate costs of $15,000 for the town services. The additional risks here are there may not be the votes on the Council to add the amounts needed to cover the services OR that if they do, the Mayor may still veto the Council budget, which restores his back – the one without the costs to cover the overtime.

As outlined, the 2015 campaign effort has a total fundraising goal of $16,500; if we cannot collect this amount by the last Friday in May, per the Mayor’s timeline for when the funds are due, the show will not occur. If the amount IS raised and Wallingford does not provide services (police, fire, public works, etc.) the show will not occur.

In years past, we always voted that if the funding could not be raised we would roll the funds forward to the following year. We never had to do that. The voting this year was that if we should not be able to have a show, for either of the reasons above, we would donate the funds to another non-profit (as allowed under law) and dissolve the 501 © 3 as the message would be clear – this is too minor of an issue for 47,000 citizens to invest a dollar and a minute of time to donate it, to save a celebration that’s been occurring in this town for over five decades.

We have steadfastly believed differently for five years. A few of us have worked over 1,000 hours in total to make this happen. The others have worked several hundred hours. We believe differently, even today, but we want to be clear, open, and transparent as to what actions will occur given certain outcomes.

So with that known, we move forward. Enclosed separately are our advertising rates for our 2015 program guide along with the rates for formal sponsorship of the 2015 event at varying levels if you or anyone you know can and wish to support us at those levels.

The 2015 Sponsor Book will be handed out at ALL fundraising events (after first printing planned for the first week of May), this includes the Paint Night for Charity fundraiser and any other events we'll be having until the July 4th fireworks show. (If there are still copies remaining for Celebrate Wallingford 2015 we'll hand them out there as well).

As of today we have set the date for the Paint Night for Charity for Wednesday May 20, 2015. There is also an enclosed flyer with that information as well.

If you have any capacity and / or desire to continue to help us with the efforts in keeping this grand Wallingford family tradition alive please do not hesitate to contact me directly. Spreading the word to friends and neighbors that might support the efforts is always welcome as well.

If you wish to donate, you can drop a note to us with your donation. You can keep up to date with everything we have going on by visiting our blog at

Thank you again for your past support and our ongoing efforts.

Jason Zandri
President – Wallingford Fireworks Fund

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