New York’s St Patrick’s Day Parade is less than a month away, and one resident is raising money to bring members of the Newtown High School Marching Band & Guard, representatives of the local fire companies and police department, and teachers and administrators to participate.
Greg Pategas, a father of two students in the Newtown school system, said his wife Dianna, who works in the office of development and alumni affairs at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, has participated in the St Patrick’s Day Parade a number of times, with thousands of Quinnipiac University students. It made him think: Why not Newtown?
He contacted an organizer for the parade and received permission for a limited number of participants from Newtown to be included.
“I just thought it would be a nice unifying way to do something for the town and for those groups,” said Mr Pategas, about the participants signed up for the parade.
While the number of people able to attend the parade was limited, Mr Pategas agreed that watching the parade to see the local participants is part of the unifying spirit of the event.
One hurdle remains to make sure the group can march in the parade: Money.
The cost for the marchers to attend the parade includes five buses, a banner for the group to carry, and band expenses. In total, Mr Pategas said the group needs $8,100.
He said he is planning to contact local groups for help covering the cost.
Individuals willing to help cover the cost can also contact Mr Pategas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-414-5163, for more information.
The banner Mr Pategas secured for the group to carry includes the words, “We are Newtown, CT. We Choose Love.” He explained the words are a mash-up from local efforts following the events of 12/14, and feels said having members of the town march in New York’s St Patrick’s Day Parade is something the town can look forward to.
“I’m hoping the weather cooperates,” he said.