‘Jamestown Day’ postponed until Sunday
That tradition is Jamestown Day, a Ft. Getty fair that that hasn’t been held in nearly 40 years. The initiative is the newly-launched Friends of Jamestown Youth, whose mission will be similar to that of the Friends of the Library.
Like the library group, which assists the Jamestown Philomenian Library with fundraising and other advocacies, FJY will help raise money in support of the Teen Center, the Youth Litter and Conservation Team, the Student Assistance Program at the Lawn Avenue School and other programs.
Piva stressed that the expansion of Teen Center, and other, programs will embrace pre-teens, as well as teens.
But there’s an important hurdle that FJY has to clear in order to be as effective as its directors hope; namely, getting non-profit status from the Internal Revenue Service. In fact, the lack of 501(c)(3) status has led a number of charitable groups to reject grant applications from the recreation department.
“Most of the applications we submit on behalf of our youth programs are denied because we’re a municipality, not a non-profit group,” Bill Piva, recreation dept. director, told the Press. “The foundations that normally award grants for youth programs want to see the IRS tag.”
The rejections sparked the idea of launching a non-profit group to serve as a fiscal agent for the Teen Center. The town of Jamestown donated $500 to the recreation dept. for its preparation of an application requesting non-profit status. The department has filed the application, and it’s still waiting for the IRS decision.
Piva, who serves as an ex offi cio member of the FJY Board of Directors, observed that the 501(c)(3) application is not pivotal.
“Friends of Jamestown Youth,” he said, “is going to exist with or without the tag. We feel that we could still go out and raise funds.”
Jill Goldstein, who serves as program supervisor at the recreation dept., said that town funding helps ensure that the Teen Center is staffed. But, “we’re kind of on our own when it comes to things like art supplies and field trips,” she said.
Noting that “the kids love to get off the island,” Goldstein added that FJY funding “would help us get the kids out to ‘skate fests’ every week, or at least once a month, and we’d try to get them up to a Celtics game.”
Piva said that Six Flags and Mystic, Conn., could also be field trip destinations. An infusion of grant money, he added, would “allow us to charge less for the trips and help the kids who normally wouldn’t go because they couldn’t afford it.”
A brochure describing the FJY initiative will be distributed at the entrance to Ft. Getty on Jamestown Day, which will be held in and around the pavilion.
Piva said that while the event has been revived to promote Friends of Jamestown Youth, “We just wanted to see if we could bring back a great, community celebration and have it every year, the way we used to.”
Recalling the Jamestown Days of his youth, Piva said that “they were held every Labor Day, and I believe the last one was held in 1971. They had booths set up. They had things like greased poles that people would climb to grab the five-dollar bill on top. The fire fighters played a tug-ofwar game. And, there were fireworks at the end.”
The 21st century Jamestown Day will feature a bonfire, where library staff will read a ghost story. Other attractions will be a Community Theatre performance, a Jamestown Arts Center exhibition and live music.
Friday, Oct. 1, from 5 - 10 p.m.
$10 per carload
or $5 per person