BATAVIA – Volunteers are the backbone of the Batavia Fourth of July fireworks show and the Christmas toy drive. Mayor Jeff Schielke is encouraging residents who want to get more involved to attend a Community Volunteer Summit at 7:30 p.m. March 13 at the Batavia Government Center, 100 N. Island Ave.
Both of the Batavia traditions, dating back to about 1950, have become major operations requiring considerable planning and effort.
“These programs have gotten so much bigger that we need more help,” Schielke said.
Representatives from the fireworks and toy drive committees will be present at the summit, Schielke said, and representatives from other community organizations also have been invited.
The Independence Day fireworks show attracts thousands of people to the Batavia High School grounds in the largest community event of the year.
The toy drive provides Christmas presents for hundreds of children from Batavia families in need.
Schielke said the fireworks show needs people to help with food, parking, publicity and fund-raising, including the annual citywide garage sale.
“There are a lot of little jobs that need to be done,” Schielke said. “I get a lot of people calling me who tell me they want to get involved,” he added, particularly new residents of the community.
The fireworks show and the toy drive are financed entirely through donations and fund-raising activities without the expenditure of tax dollars, the mayor said.