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The Suburbanite
  • Community Celebration enters crucial fundraising stretch

  • Despite speculation that it could be in some financial trouble, the Jackson Community Celebration is on track for a successful 2014 edition, according to Jackson Parks Department park maintenance and grounds foreman Dave Ruwadi.
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  • Despite speculation that it could be in some financial trouble, the Jackson Community Celebration is on track for a successful 2014 edition, according to Jackson Parks Department park maintenance and grounds foreman Dave Ruwadi.
    “We’re on track for doing what we want and we sent out our usual letters asking for a lot of donations and everything is on track there,” Ruwadi said.
    With less than two months remaining until the event, the donation drive to fund the celebration is nearly halfway to the mark, according to figures provided by the township. Last year, the township raised $30,600 for the community celebration and had nearly 40 sponsors. As of the end of April, approximately 44 percent of that amount has been raised.
    Ruwadi remains confident that the necessary funds will come in and said event organizers are moving forward with plans despite having more than $17,000 to raise. Many of the fundraising letters sent out to business and organizations within the community are still pending, leaving township officials in a holding pattern as they continue to collect the necessary money to make the event happen.
    This year's festival is scheduled for June 25 through 28, with each of the first two days running from 6 to 11 p.m., and the final day running from 1 to 11:30 p.m. Friday will once again be the busiest day of the four, with the annual Night Glow 5K run and walk highlighting a full evening of events that also includes a car show, the Kids' 1/2 Mile Fun Run and Walk and entertainment by Blues Rockers.
    Efforts for planning and fundraising run through volunteer committees set up by the township. Members of the Rotary Club, Lions Club and Kiwanis Club comprise many of the committees responsible for entertainment, sound, booths around North Park and rides that are a favorite among the children who attend the event.
    According to Ruwadi, not only is this year's celebration on track, but the event will be as large or larger than last year's edition.
    “It will be at least the same size or bigger and there's a chance we’ll have more entertainment on Saturday with a new stage setup,” Ruwadi said.
    The celebration will conclude with a fireworks display Saturday night. The display regularly draws the largest crowds of the weekend and event organizers have already lined up the pyrotechnics in anticipation of another memorable evening at North Park.
    Reach Andy at 330-580-8396 or andy.harris@thesuburbanite.com.
    On Twitter: @aharrisBURB