HELP SAVE FOXBOROUGH FOUNDERS DAY!

Yes, you read that right! If Founder’s Day is going to happen in 2017, we NEED volunteers! We are losing some key volunteers, committee members, and board members. We need to fill these roles:

1. NEW COMMITTEE MEMBERS – We are losing some key board and committee members and need people to fill in and volunteer. Members handle the planning, fundraising and coordinating the event. Most people don’t know this, but we meet monthly all year round. Weekly when it gets close to the event. All year, we are coordinating with various town officials, local businesses, and charities. Of course, fundraising is a year-round effort as well.

2. DAY OF EVENT HELP (okay, it’s more than a day) – From Set-Up on Friday, to the Parade Saturday morning, Field Day, the Fireworks on Saturday night, and, of course, a big clean up on Sunday Morning.

We are a small group of dedicated volunteers, but this year we are TOO small to run this large event.

At our last meeting we took a hard look at what is required and how many of us are left to do it. The consensus is this: If we don’t get some new blood in the next few weeks, we won’t have the resources to continue this Family and Community tradition. We will be able to continue the fireworks display, at least for this year, but the parade and the field day will likely be cancelled without YOUR help.

Did you know that we had over 50 booths, displays, and events available this year? All were represented by Foxboro non-profit groups, charitable organizations, school groups and local churches.

Founder’s Day is the BIGGEST fundraiser of the year for many of these groups.

PLEASE help us keep the tradition going strong, send me or any of the undersigned a PM on Facebook, contact Scott directly at 508-964-5042, or an email to:
foxboroughfoundersday@gmail.com

**We will also have a sign up table at the election**

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!
Scott O’Donnell
Cindi Haddad-Drew,
Steven Drew,
Krystn Gustafson

No Founders Day? Lack of volunteers for committee could spell end to town’s annual celebration

By Bera Dunau, The Foxboro Reporter
Published: Thursday, October 27, 2016 9:31 AM EDT

This year saw the 27th annual Founders Day in Foxboro, with thousands of people from across the community coming together to watch and participate in the parade through town and in the festivities on Booth Field, before settling in to watch the evening fireworks display.

But unless more volunteers sign up, it may very well be the last Founders Day, ever.

“We don’t have enough people,” said Founders Day Committee member Krystn Gustafson.

That’s the message that the Founders Day Committee is urgently trying to impart to the residents of Foxboro, and its members say they are not exaggerating the very real possibility that the beloved festival could be no more.

“We’re going to either elect board members or have a discussion on how to shut it down,” said Foxboro Founders Day Committee Member Scott O’Donnell. “That’s the hard choice.”

In a meeting with The Foxboro Reporter, O’Donnell and Gustafson explained that a core group of volunteers have kept Founders Day going for years. However, the burden being shouldered by this small group, where everyone wears multiple hats, has become unsustainable.

“We’re at our breaking point,” said O’Donnell.

Now, with three committee members stepping down at the end of this year, the committee has determined that it needs at least six new members to keep going, although more members would be ideal. Committee members get to select the theme for Founders Day and work with governmental and nonprofit organizations to help run and set the event up, which includes the parade, the field events and the “Norman Rockwell” fireworks. The committee also determines the Grand Marshall of the Founders Day Parade.

“It’s a lot of planning,” said O’Donnell.

Committee members are expected to go to meetings once a month during the year, and once a week during the time period from May until Founders Day, which is scheduled to happen on June 10 this year. Meetings last for about an hour during the year, and stretch to an hour and a half in the weeks leading up to the big day, and are held on Tuesdays. Committee members also participate in fundraising activities year-round.

In addition to new committee members, the committee is looking for about 30 people to sign up to be volunteers over Founders Day weekend as well. These volunteers would help set up for Founders Day on Friday, help the parade and field events run smoothly on the day itself, and clean up on Sunday, although volunteers won’t have to volunteer on all three days.

O’Donnell and Gustafson noted that the more volunteers that they get to help out on Founders Day and volunteer on the committee, the easier the work will be. They also expressed an openness to having an after party for the volunteers.

“If we get volunteers we’ll have a big after party and I’ll pay for it,” said O’Donnell, although he did walk back his personal financial commitment shortly after uttering this statement.

If the committee’s volunteer and committee member targets are not met by its meeting on Jan. 3, there will still be a fireworks display next year on Founders Day, as the money has already been raised to put it on. However, don’t expect that to continue either.

“I’m not going to do fundraising just so we can have a fireworks display,” said O’Donnell.

As for why they keep on volunteering, Gustafson pointed to the great memories that Founders Day has made for people over the years.

“It’s a love for your own town that you grew up in,” said Gustafson. “You want to pass on those memories that you had as a kid.”

“You want to give back to the town,” said O’Donnell, who added that the day itself is also a lot of fun.

He also related an analogy from committee member Steve Udden, who likened planning Founders Day to planning a wedding each year for the same couple.

Gustafson said that her favorite memories of Founders Day involved the fireman’s muster and eating strawberry shortcake.

O’Donnell noted that, in addition to being a nice community event, Founders Day serves as a big fundraising opportunity for a number of Foxboro nonprofits and churches. In fact, for some organizations, it is their biggest fundraiser of the year.

“They’re going to miss out (if there is no Founders Day),” said O’Donnell.

In terms of the favorite themes that each of them were involved in picking, O’Donnell and Gustafson both cited “Music in the Air,” 2015’s theme.

It was also pointed out that Founders Day doesn’t have a desire for corporate or business sponsorship.

“We wanted to keep that small town feel,” said Gustafson, who acknowledged that this did make fundraising a challenge.

This lack of a business presence also means that the organizations doing fundraising get to sell all the food at Founders Day.

The Founders Day Committee is going all-out to make sure the beloved celebration persists. The slogan “Save Founders Day” has been adopted by the group, and a call to action is the first thing people now see when they look on the Founders Day website. At the group’s election day fundraiser at the Ahern School, a banner with the slogan will also be prominently displayed. Although election day fundraisers are some of the committee’s biggest, O’Donnell and Gustafson say that the focus of the committee for the event has shifted from raising money to signing up volunteers, which interested parties can do right there on the spot.

Those who want to sign up to volunteer but can’t do so on election day should email foxboroughfoundersday@gmail.com or call committee member Cindi Haddad Drew at her business, Cindi’s Diamond and Jewelry Gallery, at 508-543-4943.

Foxboro Reporter Editorial: OCT. 27: Save Founders Day!

EDITORIAL, OCT. 27: Save Founders Day!

Published: Thursday, November 3, 2016 10:07 AM EDT
Perhaps we have all taken it for granted after 27 years. Maybe it just looks too easy.

But this week, we learned that putting on Founders Day the first Saturday in June is a complicated and very time-consuming task. And Founders Day will cease to exist unless more residents step forward to help.

That is the warning from the current committee, which will be losing at least three members by the end of the year.

The annual celebration of all that is great about Foxboro includes a parade, events and music on Booth Field and an evening fireworks show. Every year, it seems to go off like clockwork, even when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

And every year, through the magic of the Founders Day committee and its longtime chair, Cindi Haddad Drew, thousands show up downtown and enjoy the fun.

While most residents know that money must be raised each spring to cover the cost of a very good fireworks show, most don’t think much about the rest of the organization.

This is not a town government event. It is entirely a volunteer effort, which has as its core true, small-town values. There are no corporate sponsors. None of the booths at the field day are run by businesses as a way of advertising themselves.

The organizers in 1988 decided that Founders Day should be run by a free-standing committee and promote the volunteer groups in town. It was an ambitious outgrowth of the original Founders Day, started in 1970 by Jack Authelet and the Foxborough Historical Commission, which featured historic house tours and visits to Memorial Hall and the Union Straw Works water reservoir behind Town Hall.

The big event at the time was the Fireman’s Parade and Field Day, a highlight of the summer. But when that ended in 1975 there was a real void. There would be a parade and celebration for the town’s Bicentennial in 1978, but not another until 1987, when a celebration was organized around the return of the wooden soldier atop Memorial Hall after it was taken down for repair the first time.

A moving force in thos celebrations was late Postmaster Carl Kusch, a member of the Foxborough Historical Commission who later became “Mr. Founders Day” when that group was formed 27 years ago. What he established in 1988 has carried on well, until this year.

It is a proud tradition that connects the townspeople to their past, and each other, every June.

Now it is time for residents to pick up that torch, which was passed along to Cindi Haddad Drew, and keep Founders Day a part of the fabric of our community.

The cry has gone out to “Save Founders Day,” and a call to action is posted on the Founders Day website. Voters will see a banner with that slogan at the Ahern Middle School polls on election day, Nov. 8, where the emphasis has shifted from raising money to signing up volunteers.

Those who want to volunteer can email foxboroughfoundersday@gmail.com or call committee member Cindi Haddad Drew at her business, Cindi’s Diamond and Jewelry Gallery, at 508-543-4943.

We can’t imagine what Foxboro would be like without Founders Day. And we hope you can’t either. So sign up now to help.

Interested in helping? Read More Here!

FOXBOROUGH FOUNDERS DAY PLANNING COMMITTEE
40 SOUTH STREET
FOXBOROUGH, MA 02035

October 28, 2016

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN HELPING SAVE FOXBOROUGH FOUNDERS DAY.

This is just an outline of what we are looking for in a committee member.

Our meetings are once a month on the first Tuesday of each month.
We meet from 7-8pm at Church of Emmanuel on Central Street.
We meet each Tuesday from May 1 until Founders Day at the same time and place.

Our schedule of meetings is
January 3, 2017
February 7, 2017
March 7, 2017
April 4, 2017
May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
June 6

We host a table at each election from 6:30 am until 8 pm.
We have a Rocket/Boot Drive on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend.
Each of these is done in 2 hour shifts typically or longer if you prefer.

The weekend of Founders Day we are very busy and need as much man power as possible.

Friday: Set-up starting at 8am at the Booth Fields. This includes picking up supplies and helping set up. Painting the field, setting up tents, putting up barriers for the fireworks, etc. It usually concludes by 3pm or earlier with extra help.

Saturday: All hands on deck.
Field: At least 10 people
Founders Day Committee Tent and Reunion Tent: 8 People
Parade: At least 12 people
Banner holders and Rocket Carriers: 7 people
Cow Chip Bingo; 3 people
Parade Judges: 3
Fireworks: 10 People
We start at 6:30 am and go until approximately 11pm

Boot Drive at least 20 people

Elections: 2 hour shifts for 13 hours 1 person minimum 2 people ideal *this is a fun event*

Sunday: Clean up: Starts at 6:30am until we are done. Usually around 11am

Some of the timing overlaps and some of the people wear more than one hat.