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The Spirit of Community

Published: Wednesday, July 8, 2009 1:58 PM PDT
by Matthew Hall

The Windsor fireworks show held July 3 was a resounding success. It wasn’t just that businesses made money (which they did) or that spectators had a great time (which they did) or that nothing went wrong (which it didn’t). It was a success because Windsor residents, led by a few key individuals, banded together to take responsibility for their own community.

We hear the phrase “building community” a lot at the newspaper. Government officials talk about it at meetings, it gets put on billboards, letter head and it is an often quoted statement. However, it’s a rare occasion when you can see a community coalesce before your eyes and that is what happened on July 3.

When the Town Council realized they didn’t have enough money to fund the show, they didn’t provide much of an opportunity for anyone to save the event. With a mere 30 days to go before July 3, the overwhelming attitude was one of defeat. We were told there wasn’t enough time to get fireworks shipped in, that insurance would be a problem, that deadlines were already passed. Fortunately, no-one told any of that to folks like Jeff Harkey and Doug Christian of Harkey Construction or Ty Marestein of Maryís Pizza Shack.

Jeff, Doug and Ty didn’t waste time complaining and they did more than just talk. They began raising money. Lots of money (by my unofficial estimate, approximately $1,000 per day if you factor in donations of services and goods). They also went out and forged partnerships with others in the community.

The Boosters came on board to provide manpower and organizational support, downtown businesses began planning their own separate but complementary event (spearheaded by people like Bill and Cathy Fallis, Dave Culley and others), the Town waived fees and come July 3, Windsor held its best event of the year.

With people spread out all over Windsor, the entire town radiated a sense togetherness. The atmosphere on the Green and at the high school was truly one of community. It was friends and family coming together for the purpose of each otherís company.

On July 3, individuals put on a stellar event and what better way to celebrate Independence Day than private citizens overcoming the shortfalls of their government.


The Windsor Times
Original News Article