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Columbus Day parade and party to benefit from event

By Staff | Aug 14, 2009

The Sons of Italy, Charles J. Bonaparte Lodge 2504, is making headway in its fund-raising efforts for the upcoming Columbus Day Parade and party, but is not quite there yet.
Hoping to still reach the goal of $5,000-$7,000 to ensure the parade and party are held as planned, the club is crossing the river to have a fund-raiser Aug. 30 at the Sandy Parrot in South Lee County.
Charles J. Bonaparte Lodge Vice President Linda Biondi said the level of help the organization will receive from the city for the festival is still up in the air.
“I still think we’re going to get some help from the city … but it’s all going to hinge on the budget and the millage,” she said.
Biondi and her fellow club members feared they would receive no help from city officials, putting their decades’ old parade in jeopardy.
The city has, in the past, offered everything from bleachers to generators to a stage in exchange for the club hosting the Veteran’s Day Parade on its own.
With that support in limbo, it pushed the club to start a mad dash to raise funds.
Biondi said four downtown Cape businesses — Rack ’em Billiards, Backstreets Sports Pub, Twisted Conch and Cape Dog Bakery — have kicked in more than $1,200 to assist the efforts, but organizers are still far from their goal.
“We’re proceeding forward because we want to have the parade,” she said. “And the more money we raise, the more we can donate at the end of the event.”
Dubbed the “Save the Festival” fund-raiser, Biondi hopes the event will help the group get closer to its goal.
The Sandy Parrot is located on U.S. 41, just south of Alico Road. The fund-raiser will feature the music of Barry Newman and the Lords of Cool, who will play classic rock, soul and Motown hits.
Biondi said she is feeling better about the club’s chances, about both fund-raising and the parade.
“I think the city is going to help us,” she said. “I’m feeling a whole lot less stressed about it.”
For more information on the parade and the Son’s of Italy’s fund-raising efforts, call Biondi at 542-2254.