The Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association and a local signmaker led a successful effort to increase turnout at the 28th Annual Bronx Veterans Day Parade in Throggs Neck.
After years of seeing low turnout on a stretch of the parade route along Randall Avenue, WLCA board member Mary Jane Musano provided an incentive for community groups to line this part of the route.
She and graphic artist Dotti Poggi, president of the Ferry Point Community Advocates, shared the costs of making permanent banners for any local community groups agreeing to bring at least 10 people to line the parade route between the Throgs Neck Expressway service road and E. Tremont Avenue.
“Tony Ferrara, one of the organizers for the parade, said please go along Randall Avenue because there are rarely people there,” said Musano. “It is a residential strip. People do come out along E. Tremont Avenue - though not in full force as I would like to see.”
Musano reached out to Poggi, who agreed to create the six-by-three feet signs.
The WLCA donated money for materials and Poggi donated her labor to make the signs for four community groups: Primavera Italian Language Program, WLCA, Bronx Military Veterans Museum and the Country Club Civic Association, said Poggi.
“We paid for the signs and she did the work for free,” said Musano. “The signs are gorgeous.”
The community groups, some who already had signs, lined the parade route at every corner along Randall Avenue and at the overpass of the Throggs Neck Expressway during the Sunday, Nov. 18 parade, said Musano.
“Between myself and the WLCA, we are giving these organizations banners that they can use for their organization over again and again, not just for the veterans day parade,” said Poggi. “It gets people to participate and it helps their organization because they have a banner. I was surprised that more organizations did not take advantage of it.”
This will likely have been the only year that the banners will be offered to community groups because of limited resources, said Musano.
“We didn’t have a hard time getting people to say yes, and I hope that next year they continue to come out on their own,” she said.
If the WLCA had not used Poggi’s company, Alfa Art Inc. (www.alphaartinc.com), the group would have paid around three times as much for the signs, estimated Musano.Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at procchio@c