POTTSTOWN — After two consecutive years of being unable to raise enough money to pay for Fourth of July fireworks, the committee in charge of Independence Day events recognized that they needed some help.
On Thursday, they got some from the Leadership TriCounty Class of 2014, a project of the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce.
A team made up of Joyce Bagiraneza from Valley Forge Casino Resort; Rebecca Hobbs from O’Donnell, Weiss & Mattei and Carrie Makoid of Barry Isett & Associates took on the challenge of revitalizing the Fourth of July Committee.
The leadership class teaches team-building through 10-month projects that have specific goals for local nonprofits. When the teams “graduate,” they present findings of their work to the nonprofits.
POTTSTOWN — Historic re-enactments, a mini balloon festival, cook-offs, a beer tent, local musicians and, of course, fireworks.
Lots and lots of fireworks.
Memorial Day has arrived and thus, the unofficial arrival of the summer season.
Thoughts turn to barbecues, swimming pools and, of course, the Fourth of July.
Last month, we asked people for their thoughts on ways to improve, enhance and better fund Pottstown’s signature summer event and we thought the first unofficial day of summer would be a good day to let everyone know what suggestions we received.
Editor’s note: This day has been coming for a while now, but it makes the reality no less sad.
The ax has finally fallen on the Pottstown Fourth of July celebration.
The committee that plans the annual event announced last week that the fireworks have been canceled for this year. The parade will go on, but most events in Memorial Park including the popular evening fireworks display will not be held. The decision was made in December because a $30,000 three-year contract with the fireworks company requires early notification and a sizeable deposit of $23,000.
Marcia Levengood and Chip Smale, co-chairs of the planning committee, said the group is hoping to raise $20,000 to stage the parade. If they can get more, an expanded celebration will be resurrected in 2014.
The news comes after several years of struggle to raise the $60,000 needed for a two-day celebration including a parade and fireworks that has become a tradition in Pottstown since it started 34 years ago. The celebration has always been funded entirely through community donations, with no tax dollars allocated for the event. In recent years, donations have been hard to come by and slow to come in, creating a last-minute plea each year to keep the celebration afloat.
I just read the yearly depressing article about our Fourth of July celebration’s funding shortfall in the local print media. Then I read the comments. I was not sure whether to laugh or cry.
Every year we learn that the committee is seriously short of money and that this could be the last year etc… This year they are so far in the hole who knows.
So I have to wonder…since we have the same problem every stinkin’ year, should we consider doing something different? Either take a year off and let people “miss it” or figure out better ways to do fundraising.
If everybody would just “give a dollar”…unfortunately, that never happens. The only way to make sure there is adequate funding is to request money from corporate sponsors earlier and charge a small fee to get into the park. People collecting money at the parade should be more official looking so there is no doubt where the money is going.
Maybe Mr. Hylton would dust of some of his moldy advertorial money and make a nice donation to help the citizens of Pottstown? Oh wait…my bad. Mr. Hylton is saving his pennies for another glossy postcard blitz for the November elections.
Phoenixville Borough Council has passed a 2011 budget with a 9.9% property tax increase. No police officers were laid-off but there were 5 casualties in other departments. Raises for borough employees are not happening in 2011 and employee health insurance co-pays were increased.
Council is bringing back a per capita tax (eliminated more than 10 years ago) which will amount to $10.00 for each borough resident over 18 years of age.
The budget vote was deadlocked at 4-4 but Mayor Scoda voted “yes” to break the deadlock and pass the budget.
Phoenixville residents are also looking at increases in sanitation fees, water rates and sewer rates. In addition, Council removed fireworks funding for the Fourth of July celebration in the borough from the 2011 budget.
BMX National Race – Trilogy Park. May 28-30 Memorial Park, Pottstown
PASSIONFEST – Trilogy Park. May 29, Memorial Park, Pottstown
Memorial Day Parade, Monday May 31, 2010, 10:00 a.m. starting at Good Will Fire Company, High street to Manatawny Street to Memorial Park – by Pottstown Joint Veterans Council.
RAGTIME - June 3 – 20, 2010 Tri-County Performing Arts Center, Pottstown
Thursday – 7:30 pm
Friday – 8:00 pm
Saturday – 8:00 pm
Sunday – 3:00 pm
ADULT: Thurs $19; Fri, Sat & Sun $23
STUDENT/SENIOR(65+): Thurs $17; Fri, Sat, Sun $21
CHILD (12 & under): Thurs $13; Fri, Sat & Sun $15
$2 off per ticket for groups of 10 or more!
Pottstown Rumble Volleyball Tournament
Saturday and Sunday June 26 , 27
The tournament begins at 8 am in Pottstown Memorial Park. Last year over 1200 players took part in the tournament. This event is open to the public and you can walk though the park and watch the matches. It’s a fun way to spend some time.
Pottstown’s 4th of July Homecoming Celebration now has it’s own website. The site is updated daily so bookmark it and check frequently. They supply an RSS feed so you can have updates sent directly to your email : http://www.pottstownjuly4th.org/