Quincy beaches will be active again this year with the help of two grants given out by the Save the Harbor/Save the Bay organization.
Friends of Wollaston Beach received $1,000 to support the Kids Fest summer program, happening late July. Meanwhile, the Quincy Beaches and the Quincy Beaches and Coastal Commission will use $1,000 from a grant to support Pumpkin Fest in October.
“Save the Harbor/Save the Bay does a lot of tremendous work, and we’re fortunate enough to have a number of groups that have benefited from their grants,” said Christopher Walker, spokesman for Mayor Thomas Koch and a member of the Beaches and Coastal Commission.
Quincy received two of the 15 grants given out by the organization, which raises money through its Better Beaches program.
Though the end-game is cleaner beaches, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay spokesman Bruce Berman said it's the events that keep people interested in local waterfronts.
“Beaches are the touch point for people when it comes to Boston Harbor cleanup," Berman said. "We’ve found great programs make great beaches.”
In recent years, money has come from the “Harpoon Helps Cupid Splash” fund-raiser. This year, nearly 500 locals waded into the water to raise more than $30,000.
“It’s not a lot of money, but the groups leverage it and they invest it pretty well,” Berman said.
Funding will help put on the Pumpkin Fest, only in its second year. The date for the event has not yet been scheduled.
According to Berman, the event received funding as it extends the beach season. Pumpkin Fest includes pumpkin carving, face painting, and games, he said.
The Friends of Wollaston Beach also has a track record of running great events, Berman said, and Kids Fest was the perfect use for grant funding.
Consisting of a DJ, moon bounce, and a number of beach games, the event typically draws hundreds of people to Wollaston beach.
“Without the grants, none of these programs are possible,” said Neil McCole, president of Friends of the Wollaston Beach. “They’ve stepped up to help not only Wollaston but beaches all along the harbor, which was critical after all the work completed to bring people back to the beach and enjoy it in a new way.”
McCole said the group was waiting on funding to schedule the event, but that it would most probably happen in late July.
The Friends group has received funding from the grant for the past several years, racking up a total of $15,000 total to put on the annual Kids Fest.
In addition to the grants, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay also gave each group 22 marbles to scatter on their respective beaches. Anyone who finds one of these marbles between July 4 and the end of the summer will be entered into a drawing to win round-trip airline tickets from JetBlue Airways.
For more information on these grants, click here.