NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The show will go on.
Despite the budget squeeze that threatened the annual July 4th fireworks display, about a half dozen donors have managed to cobble together $60,000. That’s enough money for officials to feel comfortable enough to order the fireworks from Grucci and reinstate the spectacle.
The “Spark the Sound” celebration will begin at 9:30 p.m. July 4, rain or shine.
Back in May, City Manager Chuck Strome told CBS 2’s Lou Young that he had run out of items to cut from his budget, which put the fireworks display in jeopardy.
“We’ve excised 10-percent of our workforce. We’ve cut a lot of services. Beyond cultural events we’ve got to cut people and services,” Strome said.
The fireworks have been a hallmark event for a decade. Thousands of people line up in the park to watch the pyrotechnics being launched from an island in the harbor. The display is visible from all of the surrounding towns and across the water on Long Island.
Other towns in the area have either cancelled their displays altogether or changed the dates to avoid paying employees holiday overtime.
The major donor that helped save the fireworks display was the S.E.L.F.-Help Fund, Inc., a local non-profit.
“The donation was given out of respect for America and love for New Rochelle,” said Guru Madeleine, Founder and President of the S.E.L.F.- Help Foundation, Inc. “In keeping with our Mission Statement, it is up to us as individual citizens to show we care, and participate as vibrant members on every level. This gift was an opportunity to put our faith into action.”
“The exceptional generosity of this donation, along with support from others, will permit thousands of families to once again observe our nation’s founding with a terrific celebration,” said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson. “On behalf of a grateful community, I offer sincere thanks.”
New Rochelle is soliciting additional contributions for cultural events in 2012 and beyond. Checks can be made payable to the “City of New Rochelle Parks and Recreation Gift Catalogue Fund” and sent to the City of New Rochelle Parks and Recreation Office, 515 North Avenue, New Rochelle, New York 10801. Donations can be earmarked for a specific event or for general use. For any additional information, please contact Parks and Recreation Commissioner Bill Zimmermann at (914) 654-2092.
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