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Fontaine to field funds for the Fourth

April 13, 2012

WOONSOCKET – With scant cash to spare for frills in this struggling town, the mayor is resorting to a novel method of raising money to finance a Fourth of July fireworks display.
Mostly, it involves dinner, dancing, and cocktails, not necessarily in that order.
It’s Mayor Leo T. Fontaine’s Charity Ball, scheduled to take place April 27 at the historic St. Ann Arts & Cultural Center.
Fontaine said he decided to skip the Inaugural Ball this year, a traditional opportunity to recognize the city’s progress, and switch to a charity ball. The event is mainly designed to raise money for a fireworks display in honor of the city’s war veterans on July 4 at World War II Veterans Memorial State Park, according to the mayor.
Previously the city has raised close to $14,000 from prior fundraisers aimed at underwriting the fireworks display, an event which, until a few years ago, was routinely included in the city budget. The city’s financial condition has steadily deteriorated since then, with officials now openly debating the merits of issuing a supplemental tax bill versus bankruptcy.
Though invitations have been sent out to all individuals and corporate donors who’ve previously chipped in, the ball is an open-invitation event.
“It is a privilege to announce that this 2012 Charity Ball will be held in commemoration of our veterans and the freedoms they have protected,” invitation letters say. “With generous support of people like you, our community will be able to continue to celebrate our freedom and those veterans who fought to protect it.”
The event will be held at the St. Ann Arts & Cultural Center, the landmark church on Cumberland Street that was decommissioned by the Diocese of Providence over a decade ago. Now operated as a nonprofit venue for the dramatic arts, music and other cultural events, the church is a living canvas for one of the largest collections of fresco paintings in the U.S. and is often likened to the Sistine Chapel. The cultural center is donating the facility to the city at no charge.
“Because of this we are able to lower the ticket price, understanding that these are very difficult times,” said Fontaine. “This is an opportunity to take a break from our day-to-day struggles and celebrate something positive about the community.”
Tickets for individuals are $25 ($10 less than the last fundraising ball), $50 for couples ($15 less).
The event includes a cocktail hour, from 6-7 p.m., followed by dinner, with catering by Gary McLaughlin, owner of Kevin’s Galley, with dancing to the jazzy sounds of “Swing City” until midnight. For tickets or more information contact the mayor’s office at 767-9205.


Raise money for a fireworks display? REALY?

April 17, 2012 by Simple Citizen (not verified), 3 years 20 weeks ago
Comment: 1136

“Fontaine said he decided to skip the Inaugural Ball this year, a traditional opportunity to recognize the city’s progress”. What progress? This must have been a tough decision! I am a veteran myself and understand the celebration but let’s be realistic, this city is falling apart and the mayor is thinking about fireworks? I would think that the state of the cities well being should be top priority. I for one would rather not see a fireworks display than to have to pay a supplemental tax. Come on now. No brainer. I find it funny that the city can raise money for a party but not to help the city. I recently went to an event at the Woonsocket High school to raise money for 2 children who have cancer. The event was amazing and raised a lot of money for those kids. Was I the only one thinking if the school can do this to raise money for a couple of kids, than why can’t they do this to help the school department’s financial problem? I’m not saying it will raise 10,000,000 but if it was done threw out the school year it would help. My daughter lives in mass and has fund raisers and dances all the time and the school does great. Our school does nothing for the kids. Not even candy bar sales. Shame on you. If I see fireworks, and then I get a supplemental tax bill that I cannot afford. I am considering taking a huge loss on my house and leaving the city! That will be the last straw.

You Got To Be Kidding Me, Right ????

April 15, 2012 by Jeffo46 (not verified), 3 years 20 weeks ago
Comment: 1130

Here we are in the midst of a major financial mess, caused no doubt by both the School Department and the City Council, and Leo Fontaine is concerned about raising money for firewworks for the 4th of July ? Give me a damm break already ! Now I'm all for supporting the Veterans ,being one myself but,this just plain borders on stupidity. It's no wonder why this city is in the mess that it's in. First Menard with her wasting the City's money on Flowers and Chicken dinners for Voters and now this ? And you wonder why the people of Woonsocket are angry and rightly so ! Leo if you want to have your charity ball, take the money from it and put it back into helping the city get back on it's feet. There's no need to be wasting it on fireworks you idiot ! Next year's a election year and the residents of this city are definately going to be remembering you, the City Council and most of all, the brain trust on the School Committee.

What freedoms?

April 13, 2012 by sinking fast (not verified), 3 years 20 weeks ago
Comment: 1128

The freedom to be taxed to death or held hostage by a corrupt system?Aim the fireworks at City Hall.

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