By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 6/2014
“From humble beginnings, Foxborough Founders Day has grown into a wonderful celebration of civic pride and a chance for the community to come together for a day of fun, food and fellowship sandwiched between the pageantry of a parade and an awesome display of fireworks. The 2014 theme is, “Celebrating Foxborough Sports & Athletics” and Foxborough-based organizations and businesses are encouraged to build upon this theme as they prepare their entries for the parade. Many will carry the theme over to their field activities where those non-profit organizations will provide entertainment food and fun for all in attendance. Every non-profit, civic and religious organization in Foxborough is encouraged to participate in the field festivities and raise funds for their various organizations by selling food, running games and raffles or selling novelties and other products. Together, the people and businesses of Foxborough will show the rest of the world why we call Foxborough Home Sweet Home!”
— From the Foxborough Founders Day web site; except for the year-specific information, original text by Jack Authelet. http://www.foxboroughfoundersday.com
After a seemingly 18 month winter, it’s still hard to believe that Founders Day is right around the corner.
For our town’s birthday, I have often written about how much I love Foxborough, and how awesome Founders Day is – from the parade, to the activities on the playground, to the music, to the fireworks. It is a celebration that is uniquely ours, a day we seem to put the issues that divide us aside and unite as a town family.
Founders Day is AWESOME.
I still feel like a little kid marching in the parade with my Jaycee friends, participating in various events on the field, and loving the annual magic of the evening as we spread blankets and chairs on the grass and wait with family and friends with excitement for the pyrotechnics to start.
We all love Founders Day.
But for 2014 Founders Day, I wanted to talk about a different angle, and as social worker Edith Keeler once said to the folks at the shelter, “Now, as I’m sure somebody out there has said, it’s time to pay for the soup.”
Friends, how do *YOU* SUPPORT Founders Day?
My role, these past five years, has been the Founders Day web site – a true labor of love and the central online place to get forms, updated information, and years of photos. I love that we have a site where everyone can get Founders Day information. It is a task I cherish. But it doesn’t take up a huge amount of my time.
Other people do FAR more All year long. It consumes ALL of their time.
See, the events of Founders Day do not happen by magic – like so many of the behind the scenes acts of kindness and community development and activities in Foxborough, Founders Day is put together by a small group of tireless volunteers. Always has been.
These good folks have been meeting regularly for the better part of the past ten months to plan the annual Foxborough birthday bash. The logistics are staggering. The details overwhelming. And the headaches and surprises, I’m sure, are often. And somehow, it all comes together, even in bad weather, even with last minute changes, a perfect day of town-wide celebration that we all love.
To Cindi, Steve, Bill, Bob, Christine, Dave, Ingrid, Jim, Josh, Kathy, Lauren, Michelle, Monica, Paul, Peter, Randall, Rita, Scott, Steve, Vin, (and everyone else) on the Founders Day committee – THANK YOU. There are NO words to describe our profound gratitude for what you do ALL year to make this day possible.
To everyone else reading this, I ask you this: How are YOU going to help Founders Day?
Is your school / family / group / business / organization part of the parade? Is your group on the field, raising funds, doing the work, making new friends, being a part of all of it? Are you helping someone with their float, their Founders Day tasks, their work on the field?
Are you helping at all? In ANY way?
Or, at the very least, will you SUPPORT the day by being there to cheer the parade marchers, supporting the Foxborough-based non-profits on the field, or gathering to enjoy the fireworks?
At the very least, may I respectfully suggest you make a small donation toward the fireworks? You can do it ALL YEAR and no amount is too small. Please mail donations to: Foxborough Founders Day, 40 South St., Foxborough, MA 02035. If you see a Founders Day fireworks jar in a store, drop your spare change in it. The fireworks displays is incredibly impressive. But also expensive. So help if you can.
On Founders Day, if you see a member of the committee in their yellow shirt, THANK THEM. And if at all possible, say, “How can I help?”
Founders Day belongs to all of us, but does not happen by magic. In any way you can, big or small, be a part of it. Participate. Contribute. Support. Help.
Or at the very least, just be there. On Saturday June 7, 2014, don’t leave town to “get away” from Founders Day. Go. Enjoy it. Rain or shine, it’s a day of town pride and dare I say, JOY.
We’re celebrating our history, our present, and everything that makes the town “home.” Happy Founders Day to all – and see you there!