A couple of recent comments on “06880” implied that there was something wrong with the Westport PAL’s sponsorship of the July 4th 2nd fireworks.
(Click here — then scroll waaaaaay down.)
The commenter complained that “many worthy organizations … could benefit from control of the beach for a night.”
It is a scarce resource owned by the town and the mandate for the PAL should be reviewed periodically. Moreover, given the financial condition of the town, one might ask the question: Why isn’t the town reaping the benefits instead of one special interest?
For as long as I can remember, the PAL has taken on the burden of sponsoring the fireworks. They’ve organized the event — and taken a financial risk in years when it wasn’t the most popular show in town.
(The fireworks cost about $40,000. PAL receives help from Lydian Asset Management.)
PAL has been there for the town through thick and thin (and fog and rain).
Furthermore, the PAL is hardly “one special interest.”
They run sports programs — football, boys and girls lacrosse, baseball, wrestling, cheerleading — that benefit thousands of youngsters each year. (And they make certain their coaches are trained in CPR, first aid, concussions and youth sportsmanship.)
They run the skating rink at Longshore — a wildly popular winter project.
They provide several scholarships each year to Staples graduates. They also contribute to Special Olympics. And Staples Players.
And they do it all with enthusiasm, joy, and barely any thanks from anyone.
This is their major fundraiser of the year. They nurtured it, they made it what it is, yet they don’t “benefit” from it.
We all do.
The fireworks begin tomorrow at around 9:15 p.m. — but the party starts long before that. It’s a party the PAL helps create.
Tickets are $30 per car, and must be purchased in advance. They’re available at Parks & Rec headquarters in Longshore during business hours, and at police headquarters any time.
If you avoid Compo traffic by parking at a friend’s nearby — hell, even if you don’t go to the fireworks at all — you should support PAL by purchasing a ticket.
Maybe an “06880” reader will even spring for one for our disgruntled commenter.