BERKELEY – The 30th Annual Berkeley Pride Day put a cap to the official summer recreation events in the township and served as the last big event of the year for community groups to do their fundraising.
Fortunately, it was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, and the temperature was perfect. People brought their families and their dogs to sample the food, music, games and vendors.
Jukebox Legends and Sounds of the Street were scheduled to perform. Before the music, the speakers were playing everything from Michael Jackson to Joe Jackson. But you could also hear the sound of spinning raffle wheels as local businesses and civic groups gave away prizes to passersby. The night ended with fireworks.
There was the smell of fried fair food coming from several tents – each one manned by a local nonprofit. With a lot of local events cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19, a lot of these nonprofits didn’t make as much this year.
The Knights of Columbus 8603 had anything you could want for lunch – stuff like burgers, hot dogs, drinks and fries. They do this every year to raise money.
“It’s been pretty slow” on the fundraising side of things, past Grand Knight Allan Huhn said. By this time last year, they had made around $6,000, but this year they were expecting to get $1,000.
This has a big impact on how they can help the community. In the past, they helped pay for scholarships, special events, coats for kids, and bicycle helmets.
Huhn said he hoped the group could raise more funds in the future with events like a Knight At The Races or their breakfast with Santa.
The Central Regional Touchdown Club was selling Golden Eagle apparel, which for the first time included face masks. They were also selling books of tickets for local businesses. If all of them sell, it would bring in $10,000 for the team.
Jim Farmer said that the parents group usually sells at home games and other events, which means that there have been very few opportunities to sell their wares. They have been doing it online, which helps, but Berkeley Pride Day is a big one for them.
Central’s field hockey team was also raising money at the event, selling tye die clothing, popcorn in a can, and chances at a game. People could buy one or more golf balls. At the end of the event, all of them would be dumped out of a bucket from atop a ladder. The closest one to the hole would win.
“This is our first fundraiser,” said coach Agnes Whitfield. “We’ve done nothing else this year because of COVID.”