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Fundraisers bring $5,000 for Hawley budget

By GUY CHARLES HARRITON
November 20, 2012

Tough economic times did not dampen the spirit of generosity of Hawley residents, as $5,000 was raised at the fourth annual event that benefits emergency services within the borough.

At the borough meeting on November 14, Jim Shook, owner of the Lake Region IGA, presented the Hawley Borough Council with a check that surpassed his fundraising goal of $4,000 and, for good measure, Shook contributed another $1,000 from his own pocket.

The money, which goes to the Hawley Police Department, the Hawley Fire Department, the Hawley Ambulance and Rescue Company and the Hawley Parks and Recreation Department, was raised at two separate events.

Shook said that in previous years the fundraising fell a bit short of the goal. He told the council, “Last year, we were $700 shy.” He attributed the success this year with the primary event, a motorcycle ride, to “good weather” and the fact that the event is “really catching on.” Some 110 bikers contributed money for the pleasure of riding the 81-mile nonstop loop around the picturesque Delaware River Valley.

The second event was a food drive held within the hamlet.
Shook, who feels a strong sense of community, told The River Reporter he feels the events offer “good times for all involved.”

However, a difference of opinion emerged following Shook’s announcement about a proposed wine festival that would be held by the parks and recreation department. The proposed event, if held, would involve wine tastings in area restaurants and in Bingham Park.

Although the council was assured that no open-container law would be violated and only a small amount of wine would be offered, some council members voiced concern. Council member Mary Sanders said if the event came to fruition, it would set a precedent that could potentially backfire into public liability issues, especially if other groups proposed similar undertakings.

“This is a trend that sends a wrong message,” she warned, adding that the council should not be involved.“This should be handled privately, not in a public forum,” she said.

She said that such an event could cause legal issues. Even if the tasters sampled only a small amount of wine, it might be enough to put someone who was already imbibing over the legal alcohol limit for driving. The matter was tabled, with a workshop set for November 27 by the parks and recreation department to further discuss the proposal and to iron out the problems raised by Sanders and other council members.

Also at the meeting, police chief Danny Drake said officers feel safer now that six bullet-proof vests have been purchased for the department.