Ever wanted to sink a librarian into a dunk tank? What about a cop or a pastor? All three and more have volunteered to risk a dip in the tank at Lawncrest’s annual July 4th celebration in the name of community spirit.
The festivities are ready for the 98th year, capped off with the neighborhood’s signature fireworks display. The only things missing are more donations and more volunteers.
“We can only get to 100 [years] if everyone works together,” said Kathy Wersinger. Wersinger, who attends the monthly Lawncrest Community Association meetings and will appear in the dunk tank again this year, works for the office of Councilwoman Marian Tasco, D-9th. “It was so hot last year, people wanted to get in.”
Volunteers have been selling $10 T-shirts to help raise money, and faithful sponsors like ShopRite help keep the annual event going. But the neighborhood’s Fourth of July Committee, including LCA Treasurer Jean Pleis, is still looking for more big donations.
Schedule of events
Parade starts at 9am at Rising Sun Ave. & Martins Mill Rd., followed by a flag-raising ceremony. Other activities at Rising Sun and Comly St.
9am-5pm: Food Court 11am-3pm: Children’s rides 11am-5pm: Bingo 10am-2pm: Car show 8am-6pm: Flea market 11am-6pm: Paintball tent 11am-5pm: Dunk Tank Fireworks at dusk
Raffles, games, prizes and T-shirts for sale all day. Raffles drawn at 4:30.
Rain date: July 6
“We are seeking your financial help to make this community day a success,” a letter to community members reads. “Your donation will be used to defray the expenses of about $27,000.”
That money covers not just the fireworks, but an array of other events throughout the day, like the parade, rides, entertainment and paintball tent. The 98th celebration will include a flag-raising ceremony as usual, made all the more special this year with the help of Pleis’ grandson and Congressman Bob Brady.
Brady recently honored 16-year-old Kieron Declan Pleis for becoming an Eagle Scout, and raised a U.S. flag over Washington, D.C., in the Roman Catholic High School junior’s name. The LCA plans to use that same flag for its ceremony July 4.
“This is one of the last neighborhood celebrations,” Jean Pleis likes to remind people. With no help from the city, the day of festivities is pulled off every year through donations, sponsors, and T-shirt and raffle sales.
The final public meeting of the Fourth of July Committee is Monday, June 24, at 7 p.m. at the Philadelphia Protestant Home, 6500 Tabor Ave. Questions and tax-deductible donations (ID # 02-0804840) should be directed to Lawncrest 4th of July Committee as follows:
Steve: 215-651-8470, Jean: 215-728-0206, lawncrestjuly4th [AT] hotmail.com, PO Box 24656, Phila. PA 19111
“We need funding coming in,” Pleis said. “We’re hoping to make it to the big 1-0-0.”