NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. — The Rotary Club of the Tonawandas is spreading some holiday cheer this season and some much needed funding to put a countdown celebration for the New Year in North Tonawanda back on.
"The concept of the Rotary is to make things better in your community and actually worldwide, so this seemed like a perfect fit," said JoAnn Mierzwa, Rotary president.
Nearly a month ago, organizers with 4DNT decided to pull the plug on the New Year's on the Canal at Gateway Harbor. A lack of volunteers, sponsors, and money to fund the $25,000 event led to the cancellation.
Now, a new partnership with the Rotary club changes that, along with a new name. It'll now be known as the Rotary Club Gateway Harbor Ball Drop.
"We could not afford to do all the things that we had done - pay for the insurance, have the tents, the entertainment, fireworks. We had a very small start-up fund this year," said Debbie Darling, 4DNT vice president.
Although there isn't an exact number yet, the Rotary of the Tonawandas is covering the cost of the event's insurance. The new partnership will also bring the number of volunteers up to almost 20.
Even though this year's ball drop will be a scaled-down version of the previous five years, more sponsors for TV ads, and event prizes are still needed.
"We'd like to maybe bring in some small entertainment just to bring people down there that they could enjoy some sort of music, or even have a DJ that would do the actual countdown," said Darling.
Both the Rotary club and 4DNT said they're already in talks about new ball drop ideas going forward.