Ford City Area Heritage Days may have had final run
By Brigid Beatty
Published: Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, 1:31 a.m.
FORD CITY – Every July for the past three decades, residents and visitors have flocked to the borough for an annual parade and celebration of the town's rich heritage.
But after a recent vote by the Heritage Days Inc. Committee, all signs indicate that Ford City Area Heritage Days (FCAD) may cease to exist and become, like Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. and Eljer, a chapter in the town's history.
“I'll miss it,” committee member Tom “Padre” Hrabosky said on Thursday.
Hrabosky, who for the past 30 years has been instrumental in organizing the parade and the fireworks, said he would like FCAD to continue.
But when the motion was made during Wednesday's committee meeting to disband Heritage Days, Hrabosky was the only member present who voted against the measure.
He said that he and Rob Mohney, FCAD's entertainment chairman, wanted to delay the decision to disband so that other community and committee members could have a chance to weigh in on the matter and possibly volunteer to help keep Heritage Days going.
Both he and Mohney are still hoping the decision may be reversed.
Heritage Days brings a lot of positive attention to the town, attracting visitors who provide a financial boost to local businesses and nonprofits, said Hrabosky.
Mohney, who attended the meeting via conference call, said Friday that when the issue was brought up, he made a motion to table the decision for further discussion. He said Hrabosky seconded his motion, but it ultimately failed when the other members who were present chose not to vote on tabling it.
At that point, Mohney said he had to take another call and hung up from the meeting.
Had he remained on the line with the committee, Mohney said he would have joined Hrabosky in voting against the dissolution of FCAD.
According to Mohney and Hrabosky, committee members Marilyn Hromadik, Andrea Kaczor, Dave Kaczor and Alex Kaczor voted for the measure. Neither they, nor the committee chairwoman, Bobbi Jo Furlong, could be reached for comment Friday.
One of the factors that has led to the decision to disband, Hrabosky believes, is a declining interest in Heritage Days when it comes to volunteerism and financial support.
He noted that the festival's success is dependent on committee fundraising and from the generous donations of area businesses.
“Everything needs money to work,” he said, adding that with the current economic climate and decline in local industry, “there's not a whole lot of people who can give anymore.
“Hopefully someone younger can come in and start something else, like another community festival.”
One issue that remains a concern for Hrabosky is the matter of who will end up with electrical equipment used during Heritage Days.
He said he would like all the electrical equipment (paid for through Heritage Days fundraising) to become borough property.
“I think that other organizations in town should be able to use this wiring for any event,” Hrabosky said.
Mohney said that issue needs to be discussed further because Heritage Days bylaws stipulate that if FCAD is ever disbanded, all assets should be sold, bills paid and anything left over should be donated to a nonprofit.
He noted that the website: www.fordcityheritagedays.com is still a viable way for people to offer suggestions on the matter.
Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303.
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