POTTSTOWN PA – Six young women who are seniors at greater Pottstown area high schools will compete during the next eight months to become the reigning Homecoming Queen for Pottstown’s July 4 (2015) observance, which organizers say they hope will include the return of the borough’s grand fireworks display.
Competitors Eliana Arroyo-Dech from Pottstown, Wendy Ni from Pottsgrove, Michaela Parr from Spring-Ford Area High, Samantha Garritano of Owen J. Roberts, Rebecca Nitka from Daniel Boone, and Jess Kurtz from Boyertown have joined what will be an early and extended campaign to raise between $50,000 and $70,000. That’s what organizers say they’ll need to pay for a traditional holiday parade and, more importantly, the pyrotechnic show that was canceled during the past two years.
The fund-raising effort is already off to a good start, according to Marcia Levengood of the non-profit group Pottstown Independence Day Ltd., responsible for staging the activities. During a Wednesday night (Oct. 29, 2014) press conference at Pottstown Senior High School to introduce the homecoming queens, she also welcomed Sly Fox Brewing Co. managing partner John Giannopoulos. He presented a $10,000 contribution.
The homecoming queens play important roles in the July 4 celebration, Levengood said. While they put human faces to the campaign, and offer it positive promotion from now through the first half of the coming year, the coins and dollar bills they collect in regular fund-raising defray the project’s costs.
Every penny each woman collects counts as a vote toward her election as the winning July 4 queen. The past group of competitors was limited to schools surrounding Pottstown. Boyertown was added to last year’s list; Spring-Ford and Daniel Boone were added this year. Levengood notes the added schools better represent the broader geographic area attracted to the fireworks and other events.
The months-earlier start to fund-raising also gives the group more time to ensure necessary funds are available.
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