Gazebo Fund Hits $40,000 Mark With PBA 154 Donation

Franklin Township PBA Local 154 donated $2,500 to the township gazebo fund.

The push to build a gazebo in the municipal complex has reached another fundraising goal with a donation from township police.

Franklin Township PBA Local 154 donated $2,500 to the fund, bringing the total raised so far to about $40,000, chief fundraiser Bill Grippo said on Feb. 28.

Grippo and the Franklin Township Cultural Arts Council – which will maintain the gazebo and be responsible for its programs – hope to raise $50,000 for its construction.

The formal check presentation was made Feb 28 in the “butterfly room” at the township library.

“Donations like this make it possible,” he said. “We’ve had some pretty big donors, we’ve had some small donors. We have a pretty big chunk of it now, which is amazing.”

“Coming from the men and women of the police, we really appreciate it,” Grippo said.

The Arts Council’s John Felix thanked the PBA for its “substantial donation,” and said that it is “extremely important that cultural arts and any township organization have a close collaboration.”

“We are deeply grateful and thankful for this check,” he said.

Another Arts Council member, Michael Steinbrück, said that the donation “is a huge help.”

“What makes this special is this is a gift to the community from the community,” he said. “This gazebo’s going to be a centerpiece for our programming, to bring people together through the arts.”

Planers hope to have the gazebo up and ready for the July 4 celebration.

PBA Local 154 president Ptl. Mark Rossman signs the check.

Steinbrück said they hope to have the cement pad finished in March, and the gazebo constructed by April or May.

Following that comes electrical work and landscaping, he said.

Noting that the process which began late last year is happening faster than they’d initially expected, Steinbrück said, “We started out with a one- or two-year thing, and ended up with …”

“Six months,” Grippo said.

“It’s moving fast because it’s a great idea,” Steinbrück said.

In thanking the PBA for its donation, Mayor Phil Kramer said, “this is not unusual for them.”

“Their hearts are in the community every day they’re on the job,” he said of township police officers. “The officers that I’ve ridden around with love this town. This is not the first time and I know not the last time they will donate.”

Donations to the gazebo fund are tax-deductible, thanks to the East Millstone Historical Society agreeing to act as a flow-through organization for the fundraising effort. The gazebo will be gifted to the township when it is complete, but will be managed by the Franklin Township Cultural Arts Council.

Donations can be made online at www.franklincac.0rg. Checks should be made out to emhs-Franklin Gazebo Fund and sent to the East Millstone Historical Society, PO Box 2184, East Millstone, NJ 08875.


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