Main Street’s thousands of twinkling holiday lights and the costumed kids proudly parading through town at the Halloween Walk are part of Ridgefield life. They do something important, helping make Ridgefield feel less like a bedroom town and more like a community, a hometown.
The Holiday Trust Fund is the charity that pays to put lights up along Main Street, and to have police on duty keeping the Halloween Walk children safe.
The Holiday Trust Fund is hurting these days. It spent more than $27,000 over the last three years to convert all 16,000 Main Street lights to energy-saving light-emitting diodes, or LEDs.
That saves the town about $8,000 a year on electricity bills. But the savings go — as they should — to the town. Taxpayers handle Main Street’s electricity bills.
Until a few years ago, the Holiday Trust Fund had a nice balance and operated a year ahead. Current expenses were covered from past collections, while fund raising replenished the account for the future.
Now things are tighter. A decline in donations accompanied the economic slowdown. And the trust fund depleted its reserves financing the LED conversion.
The Trust Fund’s appeal letters have gone out. People need to give. The community touches that are financed by the Holiday Trust Fund depend on it.
Are there more important causes? Yes.
But there are few so close to home.