Giving Back

The Franklin Gazebo Fund Raises more than $18,000

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SOMERSET, NJ - Members of the Franklin Township Cultural Arts Council (FTCAC) and donors gathered at the Franklin Township Library in the Butterfly Room for a check signing ceremony for the Franklin Gazebo, Thursday night. 

"This will be the symbol in Franklin Township to present peace and harmony," Philanthropist and President of the Sodhani Foundation, Vimal Sodhani said. 

More than $18,000 was donated towards the East Millstone Historic Society's (EMHS) Gazebo Fund. Sodhani donated $15,000, the Franklin Township Education Association donated $2,500, and local business owner Dr. Peter Stavrianidis donated $1,000. 

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Franklin Township Education Association (FTEA) President Dan Mayer discusses how he and FTEA is proud to be part of Franklin Gazebo project. 

Bill Grippo who originated the idea of the Franklin Gazebo is hoping to break ground on the project by April or May 2018 and for it to be ready for action by the fourth of July. Grippo organizes the township's Independence Day celebration and said it would be great to have people use the gazebo as part of the day's entertainment. 

Grippo gives background information on the Franklin Gazebo.

The Franklin Gazebo is slated to be built at the township municipal complex just outside of the Franklin Township Public Library. It would be a structure which can be used by the entire Franklin Township community. 

Grippo says about $40,000 would need to be raised before the township will lay down the foundation for the Franklin Gazebo. It would come equipped with theme lighting which can be switched out for various events in addition to donning electrical outlets.

Mayor Phil Kramer discussed his role in the construction of the Franklin Gazebo. 

"The purpose of the Gazebo is to bring together the bounty of our community's culture and serve as a central hub for such cultural events from music and outdoor theater shows, to weddings, engagement photos, and other cultural celebrations," a flier for the Franklin Gazebo says. 

According to the construction plans, the Franklin Gazebo would be 35 feet in its widest span, and bench seating would be available. It would also be ADA compliant. 

"The gazebo will be a symbolic gesture to the harmony and the heterogeneity of the culture and the people who live in this township," FTCAC member, John Felix said. 

Michael Steinbruck gives some background on the FTCAC. 

A message from the Franklin Township Cultural Arts Council:

We don't simply live together in Franklin Township. The arts, specifically embodied in the Gazebo's future events, allow us to grow together, learn together, and celebrate together.

The FTCAC receives no municipal funding— fulfilling its mission and supporting events and projects such as this one solely through donations and funds raised through community events.

The FTCAC greatly appreciates its collaboration with the East Millstone Historic Society, which is assisting with the administration of funds for the project. All donations are 100% tax deductible.

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