School Supt., local officials ready to do their Founders Day duty tomorrow behind bars to fund raise for the band
By Mark E. Vogler
Saugus Public Schools Superintendent Dr. David DeRuosi, Jr. said he looks forward to “going to jail” tomorrow morning as long as a lot of gawking spectators are willing to pay his bail.
DeRuosi is one of several school and town officials who won’t mind a few minutes of public humiliation – all in fun and all to help a good cause: the Saugus High School Band. DeRuosi said he plans to surrender and serve his time in the Saugus BAND-it’s Jail when the sheriff’s deputies come looking for him – the same as he did last year. It’s part of a popular fundraising event sponsored by the Saugus Band Parents Association, which has become a fixture of the annual Founders Day celebration, now in its 38th year.
“This is an amazing community event that every Saugonian should attend,” said Crystal Cakounes, programs coordinator for the Saugus Youth & Recreation Department.
“It is a great way to end the summer, and to get out and see some familiar faces,” Cakounes said.
“We have been working hard on this event since April. It takes months of planning, and we put a lot of time and effort into ‘the behind the scenes’ work. When the day finally arrives, we are thankfully helped by the Youth Commission, DPW, Police, Fire and some other volunteers. I truly hope everyone is able to make it out on Sept. 8 for this wonderful Saugus tradition,” she said.
The Saugus BAND-its Jail is just one of many fun activities and fundraising events scheduled for tomorrow when the town shuts down Saugus Center for about six hours so residents and visitors can enjoy the best of Saugus. There will be music, entertainment, arts and crafts, an assortment of food, a “fun area” for kids to play and a DJ presiding. As of late Wednesday, arrangements had been made for 118 tables to accommodate local nonprofit organizations, food vendors, crafts vendors and various groups handing out informational material.
A wooden stage is already set up at the bottom of the steps of Town Hall, where several local dance studios, theatre companies and a 12-year-old drummer – Gino Figliola of Haverhill – will perform. Gino has been coming to Founders Day for several years. His mother, Brenda Figliola, is a former Saugus resident and sees this as a way for her to “give back to the community I grew up in.”
Founders Day began in 1980, modeled after a country market that was part of the town’s 350th bicentennial celebration, according to Donna Gould, who has been recognized as the organizer or founder of Founders Day.
The marquis event, which happens at noon, is the Persons of the Year Awards ceremony. A man and woman – selected by past recipients of the award – will be honored for their volunteer public and community service and personal contributions for the betterment of the community. They will join 54 departed and living Saugonians who have been honored at Founders Day, going back to 1989.
A summary of the award notes that each presentation is made “In recognition of their dedication to the Town of Saugus. This award truly exemplifies the outstanding spirit of our Founding Fathers.”
Last year Founders Day honored Ruth L. Berg, for more than 50 years of involvement with numerous community organizations, and Robert J. Long, for his years of public service, including 34 years as a Town Meeting member. Berg and Long will introduce this year’s recipients.
A FOUNDERS DAY GUIDE
WHAT: The 38th Annual Saugus Founders Day
WHERE: Saugus Center, in front of Town Hall (246 Central St.)
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 8.
9:00-9:30 Flag Raising/Opening/Kim Tobey Singing
10:00-10:30 Tiger Institute Tae Kwon Do
10:30-11:00 Christine Proia Dance Studio
11:15-11:45 Gino Figliola – 12-year-old drummer
12:00-1:00 Persons of the Year
1:00-1:30 Beat ConnXtionz Dance Studio
1:30-2:00 Theatre Company of Saugus
FOR SALE: People will be selling their handmade goods, as well as other items. Jewelry, candles, soap, home decor, tutus, hair accessories, wooden crafts, scarves, photography, quilts, etc. There will also be representatives from Younique, Mary Kay, Sports Memorabilia, Cut Co., Color Street and Tupperware. The School PTOs, sports groups & organizations will be selling apparel merchandise, as well as running crafts and raffles.
FUNDRAISING: Many school and youth groups will also be selling raffle tickets and merchandise. Founders Day is one of the biggest fundraising events for these kids, so it is a great way to help them out!
THE FUN AREA: These attractions for children include inflatables, games, a bounce house, face painting, sand art, crafts and a dunk tank. All money raised in the fun area goes directly to the SHS groups that are volunteering.
FOR COMMUNITY’S SAKE: Nonprofit organizations and various banks and other businesses will be handing out information about their groups.
FOR YOUR HEALTH: Walgreens will be doing blood pressure screenings and flu shots. Vision screenings will be provided by Pearl Vision and the Lions Eye Mobile.
IN THE FOOD AREA: On Taylor Street people will be able to enjoy the following treats: Harrows Chicken Pies, Fried Dough, La Vita Mia, Grilled Cheeses, Popcorn, Kowloon, Slush, Nachos & Cheese; Pizza, Cookies, Hotdogs, Orange Leaf Fro-Yo, Tacos in a Bag and Kona Shaved Ice.
SUGGESTED PARKING: Blessed Sacrament Church (14 Summer St.)
DJ FOR THE DAY: John Claffey of Spin’n Tunes Disc Jockey Service.