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Baltimore County

Slow fundraising jeopardizes size of Arbutus July 4 parade

Organizers of the annual Arbutus July 4 parade say the tradition will continue despite lagging fundraising.

With less than a month before the parade, about $4,000 has been collected toward a $30,000 goal, according to Carl Boyer, who is leading a new committee coordinating the parade.

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Funds are used to help pay participating bands, and buy insurance, permits and advertising.

The committee was formed this year after George Kendrick, who organized the parade for the past 19 years, stepped down due to his declining health. It includes community members and representatives from the community organization Arbutus Town Hall, the Arbutus Recreation and Parks Council and Greater Arbutus Business Association.

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"The parade is happening one way or another. I'm not canceling it," said Boyer. "It's just a matter of how large scale it would be."

If the parade is fully funded, there would be 17 bands from the east coast that would march in it, joining the scores of local banners, floats, athletic teams and political figures, Boyer said. If less money is raised, there would be fewer bands, he said. Many bands cost upwards of $2,000 to bring to Arbutus, with the most expensive one from Atlanta, costing $4,500.

It's too early to tell how much the annual parade could be reduced, as the committee still has fundraisers and revenue sources expected to arrive at the last minute, he said.

Boyer said he's been receiving donations daily, but most of them being between $5 and $25.

"If we don't get the funding in, it's not looking good," he said.

An online fundraising campaign that started in April has raised $130 from five people, a figure Boyer thought would be higher.

The committee still has revenue sources expected to deliver, but it's unsure to what extent. The annual 10K race held on the morning of July 4 has historically has been one of the largest sources of money for the parade, but it's too early to tell how much support there is this year, Boyer said.

Fundraisers are scheduled at DePaola's Pub, Catering & Wine Shoppe on Friday, Sorrento's of Arbutus on Monday and Fish Head Cantina June 22. On June 23, the committee plans to have a collection bucket at the intersection of Sulphur Spring Road and East Drive.

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Bettina Tebo, president of the Greater Arbutus Business Association, said she has no doubt the community will come together to support the parade.

"Arbutus always comes through," she said.

A community meeting to help organize the parade is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 20 at Arbutus Town Hall. The parade committee's board is scheduled to meet Monday, June 26, to determine the scope of the parade.

New this year, the parade committee is asking parade participants to register ahead of time, so the parade's lineup can be better organized. To register, email arbutusparade@gmail.com.




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