Today is July 4.
Westport jumps the gun a bit on our fireworks celebration. We held ours Monday night. It’s the town’s biggest and best party of the year.
The cost is just $35 — and that’s only if you want to park at Compo. (Plus, you can pack as many people as you want into your vehicle.)
Otherwise you can park at Longshore, the office complex on Greens Farms Road or a friend’s house, and walk to the beach.
Still, people complain.
The $35 — a price that has remained the same for years — helps fund Westport PAL. They’ve sponsored the event for years. Recently, Melissa & Doug have helped out, ensuring that more of the money goes back to PAL programs.
Under the direction of Westport Police officer Ned Batlin — and a small group of volunteers — PAL does plenty. For example, they provide:
- Youth sports teams and clinics. Each year, over 2,000 youngsters participate in 20 or so programs, including football, wrestling, cheerleading and much more.
- The ice rink at Longshore (one of Westport’s favorite winter activities, for people of all ages and abilities).
- Equipment and other needs for a variety of Staples High School teams.
- College scholarships (more than 300 graduates so far, and counting).
- Support for Toys for Tots, DARE and other programs.
That’s just the tangible stuff. By partnering with so many efforts, Westport PAL shows kids that the police really are their pals.
Westport PAL is our July 4th Unsung Heroes.
And every other day too.