Sunderland seeking donations, volunteers for its 300th celebration

  • A historic photograph of Sunderland from 1880. Contributed Photo

  • A historic photograph of Sunderland taken in the early 1900s. Contributed Photo

  • Sunderland 300th Anniversary Celebration Contributed Photo—

For the Bulletin
Thursday, July 27, 2017

SUNDERLAND — Tricentennial celebration planners are soliciting donations for Sunderland’s townwide anniversary festivities scheduled for next June. The town was incorporated nearly 300 years ago, Nov. 12, 1718.

“Most critically, we depend upon your monetary donations that will make all of our events possible. Please be as generous as you can,” said 300th Anniversary Committee Chairman Tom Zimnowski in a statement.

At least in part, donations are being solicited to make up for budget cuts that were made after a tax increase vote failed at this year’s annual Town Meeting.

“As you know from past town meetings, our funding was cut so we are being very creative,” Zimnowski said. Initially, planners requested and were endorsed by town officials for $105,000 from Sunderland’s “free cash” account, which comes from a variety of places. That amount was later reduced by $40,000 after the tax vote failed.

Besides money, planners are also looking for volunteers.

“We have many more proposals that we would love to host but for which we need volunteer help: those people and organizations that can pick up the ball and run with it,” Zimnowski said. Specifically, organizers are seeking anyone with marketing experience or online skills to help promote the event.

The event’s website, www.sunderland300.com, says “events are being planned that will focus on our mountains, the river, agriculture, recreation, artist, history and of course the people that make up our town.”

Along with historical programs and reenactments, outdoor music, local art, fireworks, area bike tours, and a “celebration ball,” a parade has been set for Saturday, June 16, 2018, which needs marchers.

“If you belong to a organization or a business and wish to march or to present a float, please contact Brenda or Mike at 665-7509 as soon as possible for more details,” Zimnowski continued. Other events have been scheduled throughout the year to highlight “Three Centuries of Community,” the celebration’s theme.

A statement on the town’s website notes if anyone has an idea to contribute to the festivities “please connect with us. If you belong to any area groups, clubs or religious organizations, spread the word and send a representative.”

Another way to contribute is by purchasing locally made souvenirs, for sale at stores throughout town. They can also be found by calling Cindy Benjamin at 413-665-7256.

Sunderland’s 300th Anniversary Committee meets the first Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. in the Town Offices, 12 School St. The next meeting is Aug. 3.

For donations, checks should be made payable to the “Town of Sunderland” with “300th Anniversary” noted in the memo section; mail to Board of Selectmen’s Office, Town of Sunderland, 12 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375.

For more information visit www.sunderland300.com or email 300thAnniversary@TownofSunderland.us.