Wallingford Fireworks Set to Fizzle Out in 2010?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 REB 0788845
The New York City fireworks over the East Vill...

On the way to perform my weekly task at the Wallingford Stop & Shop today, I saw a man standing near the entrance soliciting donations, a huge water cooler bottle in front of him that was filling quickly with offerings. This in itself is not unusual; every Sunday you can see a bevy of donation seekers camped at the entrance to the store, from the VFW to the Girl Scouts, various school organizations and civic groups. But I recognized this man as I started past him, and I did a double take and stopped short.

Jason Zandri, author of From the Mind of Jason Zandri and one of Wallingford’s staunchest advocates, was hard at work at his latest cause, raising money to allow Wallingford to continue their 50-year tradition of a Fourth of July fireworks display. Why, you ask? Well, it seems like our Mayor has stricken the funding for the fireworks event from the town budget, just as he did last year. While the money to stage the fireworks last year was obtained from savings on a renegotiated insurance contract and the display went on as scheduled, there seems to be no last minute reprieve for the event this year, so Jason has taken it upon himself to coordinate a concerted effort to raise the needed $33,000…all within the next 45 days

Independence Day FireworksThe sad part is, Jason told me that Wallingford has about $1,000,000 in reserve (I’m not sure of the source of these funds or what they’re earmarked for ), so why couldn’t the town use some of that money to fund the fireworks? Plus, there are other free events such as the Wallingford Summer Symphony series and The Taste of Wallingford that have not had their funds cut, so why cut the funds for the fireworks display? In a strange twist of fate, our sister city, Wallingford (Seattle), Washington, was also oon the verge of canceling their fireworks for the first time in 46 years, until they were saved by corporate sponsors Microsoft and Starbucks, among others (see related stories below).

The event’s stagers, Telstar Display Fireworks, needs to know by June 1st that the town will commit to having a fireworks display, otherwise there won’t be enough time to coordinate it. So, Jason has kicked his effort into overdrive to come up with the resources to save Wallingford’s fireworks. He has planned a Save Wallingford’s Fireworks dinner at Zandri’s Stillwood Inn, owned by his uncle, Jim Zandri. He has a lot of irons in the fire to pull this effort off, but he still needs a lot of help.

To read more about what Jason is doing and what you can do to help, please go to his blog, email him at Jason@Zandri.net, or give him a call at (203) 294-4647. You can also join his Facebook group, located here. Every little bit helps and he’ll be very grateful for anything you can do.
Independence Day Fireworks

The average attendance at Wallingford’s fireworks show has been estimated at 10,000 –15,000. If that is true, and everyone gave $3 to the cause, we’d have it made. While I was chatting with Jason I managed to slip a fiver into the bottle, happy to contribute to such a worthy cause. How about you?

Brother, can you spare a dime?

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Comments (8)

Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

My apologies for how this post looks; I got so many proxy errors during editing that I finally gave up and posted it as is. I'll try and fix it later when the errors - and my blood pressure - subside.

Apr 18, 2010 01:03 PM
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Wayne, I re-blogged to get a little more exposure for our cause. Btw proxy errors are a way of life now and AR. They can not seem to resolve the issue.

Apr 19, 2010 12:19 AM
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

Thanks Jim, much appreciated! AR is supposedly trying to get new servers online soon, but I'm not sure what the time frame is. Guess we'll have to put up with the errors until they do (please, God, let it be SOON!).

Apr 19, 2010 01:59 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Pat and Wayne, unfortunately as town budgets start to get tighter and tighter things like this will be among the first to go.  Come on over to Middletown I think we are still having ours.

Apr 19, 2010 11:39 AM
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

Hey George! Thanks, but we're not quite ready to give up on ours just yet! I think the residents of Wallingford might have a thing or two to say about it, too. Keep your fingers crossed, and stay tuned!

Apr 19, 2010 12:23 PM
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Towns are suffering all around and cuts are sure to come. Here we have been cut to the bone as well. Good luck with your cause.

Apr 25, 2010 11:41 AM
Rita Fong
RE/MAX REAL ESTATE TODAY, Executive Broker 901-488-9590 - Marion, AR
Realtor - Marion Arkansas Homes for Sale

Pat and Wayne, I hope the event managed to be kept, they do cost a lot of money to operate.  Good luck.

Apr 27, 2010 02:23 AM
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

Charles: Thanks, all we can do is keep on plugging!

Rita: There's still a long way to go yet. The man behind this event still needs over $25,000 to save it, but he's doing a bang up job raising funds and we certainly hope he succeeds.

Apr 27, 2010 02:43 AM