The Morris Park Community Association’s board members are currently in the process of contacting large businesses in the area before hitting up smaller merchants, many of whom already do much to keep the Morris Park Avenue and Williamsbridge Road commercial corridors vibrant.
MPCA hopes to put 9-18 strands of lights on Morris Park Avenue from White Plains Road to Williamsbridge Road, and an additional four strands of lights on Williamsbridge Road between Morris Park Avenue and Pelham Parkway.
“Right now, I am composing letters to all of the banks, hospitals, and other large businesses in the area – I hope they are the good neighbors they say they are,” said MPCA president Al D’Angelo. “We are also contacting elected officials. If we do not get enough funds for the lights, we will then approach local merchants.”
D’Angelo said that the lights run $600 a strand, and with electrical costs rising, could prove to be a very expensive endeavor.
“The neighborhood people felt really bad last year because we didn’t have the lights,” D’Angelo noted. “So we feel we have to do it this year.”
D’Angelo is approaching large businesses and institutions first because he feels that smaller merchants already contribute a lot to the Columbus Day parade and the MPCA general fund, and face stiff competition against huge area shopping malls.
Nevertheless, D’Angelo is hoping to publish the names of local businesses that contribute to the project in the Bronx Times Reporter, encouraging the community to support those businesses and boycott the ones who give nothing to the Christmas/Holiday lights.
“The lights are a way of showing that business on Morris Park Avenue and Williamsbridge Road appreciate their customers, and vice-versa,” D’Angelo continued. “If the community supported business that give to the light cause, and didn’t support those who wouldn’t, all of the local businesses would see this is part of the price of doing business in the neighborhood.”
The cost of putting up lights varies according to the types of lights used, and what kind of poles they are attached to, according to MPCA board member Danny Cestaro.
“We are doing this on our own as an organization; the lights are important and we are going to get them. Senator Klein has already pledged his support, and is waiting for our budget proposal,” Cestaro noted, hoping it will be a Merry Christmas in Morris Park once again.
©2008 Community News Group