Niagara Gazette

Communities

October 23, 2013

Gateway Harbor ball drop canceled

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — “The enthusiasm is still there for those who would like to see the event continue on,” Darling said. “But with a crew of five to six people. it’s just not possible.”

Maier said that when the ball drop started in 2008, there were 25 to 30 people on the committee. And the work behind the event didn’t just start Dec. 31. Before that, there were months of “knocking on doors, making a lot of phone calls,” he said. And on the day itself, he’d be up before dawn and going until 2:30 a.m. the following morning.

“I hate to see the community lose anything like this,” he said. “It’s terrible, especially with all the work we’ve put into it. People don’t understand. We start meeting in August and carry on up until ball drop.”

Joyce Santiago, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas, said that while the news was disappointing, it wasn’t truly a surprise.

“We kind of knew this was coming,” she said. “It takes a lot of hands and a lot of dollars to put something like together, and unfortunately this year, we don’t have either of those.

“It’s a shame, but I totally understand where they’re coming from. We want to thank all of the people who have helped throughout the years and we certainly understand that without the proper support, they just can’t do it alone.”

Darling said that she believes the one piece of the festivities, the Kids Fun Zone event, will continue at Salem United Church of Christ in Tonawanda. As far as the other events, she wouldn’t mind seeing a holiday miracle.

“Miraculously, if someone came forward and said, ‘I can pay for everything,’ we certainly would scramble,” she said. “I would like to see someone come forward to do that ... but in today’s world ... I don’t think anyone’s going to do that. But it would be a nice Christmas present.”

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