xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Towson Fourth of July fundraisers focus on bingo, baskets, bags and a bus

It would be wrong to say the 2012 Towson Area Fourth of July Parade begins Thursday, Nov. 3 — when the parade committee hosts its third annual Longaberger basket/Vera Bradley bag bingo to raise money for the event.

The 26-member volunteer committee actually began working on the 2012 parade last July, not long after the bands packed up their instruments, the Air National Guard jets returned to their base and the 100,000 spectators left to start their cookouts.

Advertisement

The Fourth of July event may be a one-day affair, but it's a year-long process. Committee chairwoman Maryann Albaugh and the 25 other volunteers have been lining up bands, choosing grand marshals, attending to a thousand details and figuring out the budget.

And, of course, raising the money to finance the parade, "the most difficult task of all," according to Jackie Sims, who chairs the parade program group.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The economy has taken its toll on local patriotism.

The parade last year was still two hours long, which Sims said is a terrific bargain considering people don't have to pay a cent to see it.

"But it was smaller," she said. "A lot of the groups that normally come to march have disbanded because of (a lack of) members' participation and the cost of travel."

More importantly, as far as the committee is concerned, is that for the past three or four years donations have been down from previous years.

"We are a long way from reaching our goal of $30,000, which it takes to put on the parade," Albaugh said. "The majority of the money goes to pay for the spectacular bands that everyone enjoys."

The bingo night offering Longaberger baskets and Vera Bradley bags as prizes has been one of the committee's most successful fundraisers.

The doors of the Towson American Legion Post 22 hall, 125 York Road, will open at 6 p.m. on Nov. 3. Games will begin at 7 p.m.

Food and beverages will be available to purchase, and the evening will feature door prizes, specials and raffles. The committee will be raffling an overnight stay in Annapolis that includes breakfast, a flag and a tour of the State House given by 42nd District Del. Bill Frank, who held a fundraiser for the 2011 parade and plans to hold one next year for the 2012 procession.

"Many local businesses are donating gift cards or items to be used as door prizes or as part of a basket or bag filler," Albaugh said. "If nothing else, it will be a fun night to spend with friends."

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. For more information, call 410- 256- 4662 or 410-931-1749.

"We are most appreciative of the Towson American Legion for providing us their hall at no cost," Albaugh said. "They are one of the parade's major supporters. They are incredible in their unending support."

On behalf of the Baltimore County Council, 5th District Councilman David Marks recently honored Post 22, "for its support and dedication to the Towson Area Fourth of July Parade Committee."

With support and donations like that from the business and residential communities, the parade will continue to be "the best show in town," Sims said. "It will be 80,000 smiles long."

On the road to patriotism

People may also sign up for the parade committee's fundraising bus trip to The 29th annual St. Alban's Christmas House Tour on Saturday, Dec. 3.

St. Alban's School is on the grounds of The National Cathedral, in Washington. The trip features shuttle bus service to tour six Georgetown homes decorated for the holidays by leading floral designers, as well as the opportunity to shop at boutiques brimming with gifts for the holidays.

Bus passengers also will be able to tour the cathedral.

"We drive by and wonder what those old Washington mansions look like inside," said Sims. "This will give us a peek into Washington, D.C., history."

The bus will leave from American Legion Post 22's parking lot at 9 a.m. and return at 5 p.m. The cost, including bus, bus driver's tip, lunch, house tours, and shuttle bus service, is $85.

Checks for the bus trip — or just to donate to the parade committee — may be made payable to Towson Area Fourth of July Parade, P.O. Box 5418, Towson, MD 21285.

For more details, call Albaugh at 410-931-1749.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement