Montclair’s Independence Day celebration kicked off last night with the fireworks display that wasn’t supposed to happen this year. It was a proud Montclair moment as Montclair resident Timothy Barr stood in the infield of the stadium named after Montclair’s Yogi Berra on Montclair State University’s campus and welcomed the standing room only crowd to the community’s 60th annual July 4th fireworks display. Despite a cold, and sometimes stinging, reality of an austere budgetary year, the Montclair community had a blast on a hot summer night through their perserverance, ingenuity, togetherness, pragmatism and patriotism. To lay the groundwork for next year’s celebration, Montclair Councilors Kathryn Weller-Demming and Renee Baskerville sold American flags with Tim Barr at the stadium’s entrance to raise funds for July 4th 2011. Sure, there was a traffic jam on the way home. But it didn’t diminish the pride of Montclair on the proudest day in the USA.
The evidence is clear at the Upper Montclair Kings Supermarket on Valley Road. Montclair shoppers have been opting to donate to the community’s Independence Day celebration at the check-out counters. Thanks to Eileen Sheehan, who closed this deal – among many others – to make this fundrasing opportunity happen. Township officials say donations at Kings have topped $1,000! But that isn’t the only fundraising that has been going on in recent days. Under the leadership of Michael D. Byrne, American flag sales in the township by local Boys Scouts of America troops raised nearly $500 over the weekend. Meanwhile, local businesses and organizations, including the Montclair Community Pre-K, continue to come in – ensuring an exciting Indeoendence Day celebration is on tap for this weeekend! Thank you, Montclair!
The Montclair Township Council on Tuesday adopted two resolutions finalizing the decision to have a July 4th fireworks display at Yogi Berra Stadium on the campus of Montclair State University. The vote was 6-0, with Councilwoman Renee Baskerville absent from the meeting.
At this point – thanks to private donations, creative fundraising ideas, contributions by talented residents, the pragmatism of the township’s elected and non-elected officials, and the many people who took an online history quiz – Montclair’s Independence Day celebration has been saved!
It will be different from those of previous years. But then again, so is the entire Montclair community.
One thing that has remained a constant in our proud community is the ability to come together. We showed in flying colors – red, white, and blue – in saving the celebration.
It just goes to show you that when the going gets tough, the tough, the creative, the talented, the kind-hearted and the generous of Montclair get together – and get the job done.
So what do we do now? Keep going!
The Township Council’s adoption of the two resolutions starts the clock ticking down to next year’s celebration. Stay tuned for information about upcoming fundraising efforts.
UPDATED on 6/19/10: Sharon Sevrens checked in today to let us know that her donation of 15 percent of all wine sales at Thursday night’s event brought in an additional $311.64, making for a total of $3,811.64 raised at the event. Thank you everybody!
On the heels of the Montclair, N.J. community netting $10,000 in Liberty Mutual’s national contest yesterday, Amanti Vino hosted a stunning fundraiser Thursday night that raised $3,500 for saving the township’s Independence Day celebration. A huge thank you to Amanti Vino owner Sharon Sevrens for her donations and presentations of five wonderful wines – most notably, an amazing port she poured at the end of the evening, a 30-year-old white port called Casa de Santa Eufemia (ask for it by name!)
The majority of the 26 people in attendance swore they didn’t like port. After a few sips, the same crowd bought out her inventory of the dessert wine.
Many thanks to the good people at 32 Church who donated a savory mushroom-pasta course, followed by their own special quesadilla, and finished with a satisfying tiramisu.
Most especially, our thanks go to the generous folks who came to the event and who helped us comfortably surpass our fundraising goal of $3,000 for the night. The final tally has yet to be calculated – Sharon is donating a portion of her wine sales from last night – but our early estimate is $3,500.
Look for updates and photos to this post later in the day!
If this post is news to you, then you didn’t take Liberty Mutual’s Bring Back the Fourth quiz. For those of us who did take the quiz, this is old news and a chance for us to do an on-line high five to one another. Congratulations, us! We just took a $10,000 leap forward toward saving the celebration!
There are just a handful of spaces that remain for the Amanti Vino/32 Church fundraiser tomorrow night. Call Amanti Vino to make your reservation! 973-509-WINE (9463).
Take a look through the front window at Kings on Valley Road and you’ll find it’s not so easy to see through! Shoppers who who made donations to Save The Celebration of Independence Day in Montclair are obstructing the view with their booster cards. Each card bears a donor’s name. Is your name on the window of fame? Stop by Kings on your next grocery errand and the tell the cashier you want to make a donation to Save The Celebration.