With only a month to go, and $22,000 left to raise, Braintree officials are hopeful more sponsors will come forward to support the annual Forth of July festivities.
The request for funds is a familiar refrain for those who know of the event, and while fund-raising for the town’s parade, after-party, and fireworks may have proven difficult in the past, organizers are optimistic about this year.
“We have really reached out, and I can’t say enough of how generous a number of businesses have been that have stepped forward to partner with us, to become sponsors,” said Town Councilor Sean Powers, who is also chairman of the Braintree July 4th Celebration Committee. “We’re confident we’ll reach our goal, but we still need to ask folks to step forward and donate.”
In 2012, fund-raising fell short, with organizers only able to raise $35,000 from private sources to fund the nearly $100,000 event.
This year, the celebration has been scaled back, but fund-raising expectations are higher.
Of the $84,000 event, the town will spend $40,000 on the parade. The remaining $44,000, which would cover the after-party and fireworks display at Braintree High School, has been left up to private donations.
Donations have been coming in so far from businesses, with the help of a new 501(c)3 designation and new website. The committee has also petitioned residents for donations through their water and sewer bills.
“The money is coming in, but we’re halfway there and we still need people to step forward,” Powers said.
More events will be forthcoming, Powers said, including a Pizza Palooza event hosted by the Braintree Chamber of Commerce.
Yet not only are organizers looking for cash, the Committee is also looking for volunteers as well as town groups that want to march in the parade, part of a renewed focus to bring the parade back to a local event.
“[The parade] will contain the same elements of marching bands, fife and drum bands, performers, but it’s going to be a Braintree focused parade,” Powers said. “We’ve been contacted and are continuing to look for a number of local organizations that want to participate in the parade and show case that they are part of the community.”
Though the parade will have a different focus since the resignation of longtime Committee member John Robinson, Powers was optimistic that people would be pleasantly surprised.
For more information about the event, visit the website.