Medford Celebrates announces 2014 fireworks, looks to residents and public for donations

fireworks

For the third consecutive year, Medford Township will be able to hold its annual fireworks show thanks to the Medford Celebrates Foundation.

However, the foundation is hoping there is more in its future than putting on the Fourth of July celebration.

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Robert Egan, the president of Medford Celebrates, said the organization’s goal is to ultimately help out with other township events.

“One of the objectives of this foundation was to hopefully fund other events in the town, but we haven’t gotten there yet,” he said.

Before adding other events to the agenda, Medford Celebrates is trying to become solvent in holding the fireworks each year.

Even though the organization has received the money to continue the celebration in 2014, it only goes so far as to cover the fireworks, security, clean up costs and other expenses.

Egan said sponsorship has been steady this year compared to 2013, but the number of private donations and volunteers has decreased.

“The number of folks who we can count on to volunteer has diminished,” he said. “The donations outside of sponsorships have also fallen off.”

This year, the event is moving back to July 3 after Medford Celebrates experimented with moving it to the Saturday before July 4 last year. Entertainment was added and the celebration began at 3 p.m. instead of the usual 5 p.m. However, the extended event and new date didn’t take off.

“People just didn’t show up until late,” Egan said. “It didn’t seem like we attracted a whole lot of people between three and five. So we just figured it didn’t seem to be that much of an attraction to everybody.”

This year, the fireworks are being moved back to July 3 again. The event will take place at Freedom Park beginning at 5 p.m. There will again be vendors and entertainment, with the fireworks taking place around dusk.

Egan said a lot of people took the fireworks and other events for granted for a long time. When the township stopped funding the fireworks in 2011, many businesses and residents stepped up to the plate to make sure the fireworks could stay.

Three years later, Egan believes some people are forgetting how much fundraising is needed to hold the event. He said many of the visitors aren’t Medford residents.

“Just talking to people two years in a row, there’s a lot of people that come from out of town,” Egan said. “It would be helpful if they could helps us out a little.”

One way the organization has tried to get donations from out-of-town visitors is through donations at the event. However, there is a lot of uncertainty as to how much money will be collected in any given year.

“Last year, we didn’t collect as much as we did before,” Egan said.

For 2014, the fireworks will take place in Medford as usual. Egan said local businesses both old and new have been very responsive to Medford Celebrates about donations. He just hopes the residents continue to show the same enthusiasm.

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