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Parade organizers seek sponsors

By Staff | Jul 30, 2009

The Sons of Italy Charles J. Bonaparte Lodge 2504 have found a few donations to help offset the cost of the local Columbus Day Parade, but organizers are still a long way from making sure the parade will actually happen.
As one of many special events that might take the brunt of Cape Coral’s budget cuts, organizers of the Columbus Day parade said the event is in jeopardy if they cannot raise $5,000-$7,000.
Linda Biondi, vice president of the lodge, said three downtown businesses have decided to act as sponsors.
Rack em’ Billiards and Backstreets Sports Bar have donated $250, and the Twisted Conch has kicked in $500.
“We have some people who are trying to step up to the plate,” she said.
While the club is making progress, according to Biondi, they now have to wait and see which way the Cape Coral City Council will vote once budget talks resume.
She said neither she nor anyone from the club have spoken in city council chambers during public comment, but plan on doing so at the Monday meeting.
After meeting with the parade committee Tuesday, Biondi said the club is in a holding pattern.
“We’re looking to see if we can get some kind of direction from the city. We just have to see where they go,” she said. “It’s very difficult because you don’t know which way they are going to go.”
The club and the city have long worked on a barter type system regarding the parade.
According to Biondi, the city donated a stage, bleachers, golf carts and generators, among other items, in exchange for the Sons of Italy taking the sole responsibility of throwing the annual Veteran’s Day Parade in November.
With an estimated 10,000 people attending last year’s Columbus Day Parade and food festival, she said the club will have some sort of celebration, organizers are just unsure of the level.
The club plans on meeting Wednesday to make a final decision.
“We’ve already spent the money on entertainment and a lot of things … one way or another we’re going to have some celebration,” Biondi said.
Different levels of sponsorship are available. For more information, contact Biondi at 542-2254.