Second Parade Fundraiser Draws 700
As he looked out from the stage at the 700-some people who paid $25 each for a buffet and a side order of Celtic rockers, Blackthorn, at the Springfield Country Club on Sunday, Michael Bradley grabbed the mike and said, “We’re doing it right.”
Although the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day parade director had gone head-to-head with the city over its request for an additional $40,000 to pay for police, barricades, stands and clean-up—something the city donated to the event in previous years—he wasn’t waiting for someone to cave. With Philadelphia facing a billion dollar deficit over the next five years and the parade only a month away when the new bill came in, there wasn’t time for a protracted stand-off. And Bradley wasn’t about to call off the parade, one of the oldest in the country.
So everyone rolled up their sleeves and planned fundraisers—the quiet kind, where one or two people approached the generous high-rollers in the region, and the high-profile kind that mixed music and raffle tickets and 50-50s and food. The effort got its first boost when Brian Tierney, CEO of Philadelphia Newspapers Inc, publishers of the financially troubled Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, offered to match the first $20,000 raised.
And it’s coming in—in small bills and large checks (on Sunday, Ed Last of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, handed over a check for $1,000 from the organization, the second four-figure donation the group made to the parade). Bradley won’t talk about how much money the parade committee has raised until there’s a final tally, but he says it’s going well.
If you couldn’t be there, check out our huge photo essay. And send your tax-deductible contributions to:
St. Patrick’s Day Observance Association
PO Box 32158
Philadelphia, PA 19146