‘FITS’ seeking volunteers, ideas

Having met Monday for the first time in 2008, the “Fun in the Sun” committee already is hard at work planning for this year’s Canada Day celebrations.
Organizers are looking for new blood—and new fundraising ideas.
“We’d had some meetings in the fall, but we start kicking it off around now,” FITS chair Paul Bock said yesterday.
“Most of the committee members have been around for a while so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel—just figure out what dollars we’ve got to spend and look after the staples: the fireworks, the parade, the kid’s events.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have as many funds as we have had in past years,” Bock added. “We’re just kind of seeing what can afford to do and what we can’t afford to do.
“We’re looking at ideas for fundraising, sponsorship for events, that kind of thing.”
While certain clubs help sponsor certain FITS events (such as the queen pageant) year after year, Bock cited the closure of the Fort Frances Bingo Hall back in December, 2006 as a major loss of overall revenue which “Fun in the Sun,” along with numerous other local volunteer organizations, have never truly recovered from.
As well, every raffle the FITS committee has staged in the past three years has decreased in revenues despite the fact the prize packages were better year after year.
“There’s more raffles out there than everybody knows what to do with,” noted Bock. “You can only support so many causes and buy so many tickets, and people have to pick and choose which ones they’re going to look at.”
Bock said while organizers generally are able to find volunteers to help out with specific events each year, whether it’s the parade or the fireworks, the committee itself is welcoming more people to get on board.
“More volunteers are always a great thing because they come up with new ideas and new ways to do things,” he reasoned.
“Most of our committee has been there for seven or eight years at least, if not longer, and no matter how much you try to keep things new, it takes new people to do that.
“We welcome new ideas and people to implement them, for sure. We’ll certainly listen to any new idea that we can handle,” added Bock. “If there’s a way to do it with the manpower we have, then great.
“There’s no shortage of ideas . . . if they can help us out with the manpower to help get it done, that’s even better.”
Bock said those interested can contact him at North Air Services (274-5353) or Dawn Booth at the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce office (274-5773).
The FITS committee’s next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 7 at 6 p.m. at the Chamber office (474 Scott St.)