According to a release from the committee, a registered non-profit, it hopes to raise donations from the general public towards its continued efforts to fund the parade which, in 2010, will mark the 249th consecutive year of marching and will be led by grand marshal Ray Kelly, New York City’s police commissioner.
In the past three years, said the committee, it had introduced technologies such as the parades website, the live webcast of the parade and a means of making secure online payments for tax deductible donations.
“All of these have raised the profile of the parade and brought huge savings. These technologies have been implemented at minimum cost to the parade, thanks to various people with the expertise volunteering their services, ” said Hilary Beirne, the committee’s executive secretary.
Most people, said Beirne, did not know that the parade had to pay for everything from comfort stations for parade participants to reviewing stands and was completely funded by donations from the public.
“While New York City serves as the majestic backdrop to the parade, the city offers no financial assistance to the parade despite the fact that the city takes in millions of dollars in tax revenue from parade participants,” said Beirne.
“We want the general public to ask themselves how many Saint Patrick Days have they spent watching their children be awe-struck by the marching bands, how many times have they gotten goose bumps as the sound of the first bagpipes break through the chilly March morning air.”
Parade committee chairman, John Dunleavy, said the parade would be 250 years old in 2011 and the committee was already hard at work planning a “truly momentous” event.
“We hope our online donation center will continue to help us raise funds to off set the rising costs and the expected reduced donations due to the downturn in the economy,” Dunleavy said.
According to the committee, secure online donations can be made at NYCStPatricksParade.Org, or by mail to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Celebration Committee, P.O. Box 295 Woodlawn Station, Bronx, NY 10470.
Additional information and donation forms are available from the parade office at PO Box 295, Woodlawn Station, Bronx, NY 10470, phone (718)231-4400. Details also from Hilary Beirne at Hbeirne@nyc-st-patrick-day-parade.org.