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Why Do Volunteers Have To Pay?

To the Editor:

Congratulations and thanks to the Labor Day Parade Committee for a job well done.  Having co-chaired two of the parades in the past, I can truly appreciate all the hard work, sweat and yes, sometimes tears, that go into making each and every parade special.  When I first got involved it was through the Summer Festival committee who did the fundraising and work.

  After attending at least 40 of these parades, I was embarrassed when I heard that the Sandy Hook Fire Department paid a good fee to participate in this year’s parade, as did all the other fire companies.  We have to remember  that ALL the fire companies are manned by volunteers who put their lives on the line whenever there is a fire call for the residents of Newtown.  They do their own fundraising also which takes up much of their personal family time.  How much is a volunteer expected to do?

 Newtown is a beautiful, family oriented town and we enjoyed living and raising our family there for 35 years.  My husband Dick and I still have our hearts there and continue to volunteer wherever and whenever we can.  I always felt if the volunteers all decided to “take a day off”, the town would not be able to function.  What a tribute to all who do give of their time and money.

 I do not understand why these volunteers are expected to pay to participate in their hometown festivities. I do agree that any commercial business should be required to pay a fee.  We all appreciate what you do and know you believe you are doing the right thing; but please reconsider your position of requesting fees from any volunteer organization.  Thank you for considering this request.

 Very truly yours,

 Marie Sturdevant

36 Hearthstone Drive, Brookfield September 9, 2012

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