ABOUT TOWN: More on the Children's Field Day Cancellation
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MORE ON THE CHILDREN'S FIELD DAY CANCELLATION: While the other July 4th activities like the carnival, concert, fireworks and parade will be taking place, the popular children's field day (kids day) - with numerous games, contests and prizes - won't be taking place this year because there was a shortage of volunteers to help organize it.
Regarding the cancellation of the Children's Field Day, Stoughton Firefighter/EMT Peter Denneno wrote About Town on Saturday afternoon, June 30:
"I saw there was no children's day for the fourth this year. I saw the reason was lack of help. This in my opinion is a real disappointment and should never have happened," Denneno said. "As you may know, for years dating back the fire department brought the prizes, and assisted the organizers with children's day."
He continued, "We worked well with the persons who ran the fourth prior to Mr. Parsons and I took the event from Victor Melendy and worked with Bob with never a hitch, and we enjoyed doing it. This would have continued, but we were told we were not needed any further by Mr. Mokrisky when he took over, and for that reason only, our participation stopped. I would gladly help with children's day again - as I had for 14 years and Jay McNamara did for a while after I could not, with the help of the members of the Stoughton Fire Department. We always had great fun and were glad to see the kids receive a prize of their choice. I guess as long as Mr. Mokrisky does not want us involved, we can't do anything about it."
Joseph Mokrisky, Chairman of the Stoughton Community Events Committee, on Tuesday morning, told About Town, "As you are well aware, I do not take to blogs or respond to rumors and stories. In this case, I cannot sit on the side lines and let Peter Denneno take another swipe at the town."
Mokrisky continued, "Like the time when the town was called 'Unpatriotic' by Mr. Denneno and others, he tells the story to fit his agenda. Mr. Denneno is correct that for many years the members of the Stoughton Fire Department worked very hard with Bob Parsons and raised all the money for the prizes that kids were given at the Kids Day event.
"Mr. Denneno stated to me that the union did not have the resources to raise the money any longer and that they would need half of the approximate $2,000 that was needed to purchase the prizes. In an effort to keep the Fire Dept. involved, the committee agreed and paid approximately $1,000.00 toward the purchase of the toys. This can be verified because the check was written from the Fourth of July budget maintained by Town Hall. The second year Peter approached me and said if the Fire Dept. was to be involved, they would need the Events Committee to purchase all the toys and they would give them out. The Events Committee voted to handle distribution of the toys."
Mokrisky added, "It is obvious that Mr. Denneno wants to make this personal, which once again has no place. It should be noted that the only involvement by the Stoughton Fire Dept. in any event hosted by the Stoughton Events Committee have resulted in them being paid for their time by the taxpayers, unlike the Stoughton Police Dept. who volunteer their time and play a major role in the Haunted Hayride. The Stoughton Public Works Dept., who volunteer their time to handle all the logistics in setting up, breaking down and cleaning up after each event and Town Hall employees that work at every event as well as Selectmen and a past Town Manager.
"I'll take this opportunity to thank the volunteers who give of themselves to make these events possible. If Mr. Denneno and his peers want to run the Kid's Day next year, I will hand them the $5,000 dollar budget and let's see what they can do. It's up to you Peter, do you want to host the event next year? I await your reply."
Chairman of the 4th of July Concert and Fireworks Kevin Stetson said, "I don't have kids in this town. I've done six parades and five fireworks. It's a thankless job. I don't do it for the thanks, but I really don't appreciate all the negative comments. Parents should step up to the plate."
Stetson continued, "If Joe didn't volunteer to chair the event when Robert Parsons left, it all would have been over. As far as the fire department, the first year after Bob left, they were tremendous. They paid for all the toys and handed them out. The second year, we paid for half the toys and they handed them out. The third year, we paid for all the toys and they still wanted to hand them out. We asked for an ambulance for the Easter Egg Hunt, because hundreds of kids were there. It showed up when the event was over."
Stetson said the police have been very helpful. "Sgt. Dan McGowan is on the Committee. The Auxiliary Police, and their Chief Ron Dardano, have been the biggest asset this committee has had. We had $15,000 from IKEA for the July 4th activities, and $5,000 from the town for the Children's Field Day. It's a shame that the Committee had to cancel it due to lack of volunteers. As Rodney King said, 'Why can't we all get along?' Don't complain, step up."
Let's hope that more people (attention parents) come and volunteer for the Stoughton Community Events Committee. Their next event is the Haunted Halloween Hayride.
People like Kevin Stetson, Joe Mokrisky, and Bob Desmond work REALLY hard to make Stoughton a better place. Less complaining and more volunteerism would seem to be the key to future success.
The Committee has hosted events that include the Easter Egg Hunt, Children’s 4th of July Field Day, 4th of July Fireworks, 4th of July Parade, Touch-A-Truck, Haunted Hayride and the Christmas Parade.
As enjoyable as these events are, they take volunteers to make them happen. Many committee members have worked hard over the last couple years to bring these events to reality but they need your help!
There are approximately 27,000 people living in the Town of Stoughton. The members of the Community Events Committee hope there are a few who would like to have fun working with their fellow residents to ‘Make a Difference in Stoughton.’
HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAYS: To Mel Frankel, a very cool dentist, and the generous husband of Town Meeting member (and my friend) Dori Frankel. To Howard Finer, Software Engineer at Sonus Networks, Inc. and the father of Zach Finer, who accompanied my daughter to the prom this year. To Mike Tepper, a Stoughton native, and the original owner of Gold's Gym in Stoughton. And to Paul McKeen, long-time umpire for Stoughton Youth Baseball, and owner of Viking Auto Appraisal in Canton.
HAPPY BELATED ANNIVERSARY: To Beth and David Golden on their 32nd Anniversary, last Friday. Beth lived across the street from me growing up in Randolph, and now lives in Stoughton. She's a Kindergarten teacher at Hertz Nursery.