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Lewiston discusses limiting 'bucket brigade' fundraising

LEWISTON -- The "bucket brigade" -- a popular fundraising strategy in which groups collect money from passing motorists -- may have become a bit too popular on Center Street.

Village Board members at their annual organizational meeting on Monday discussed limits to the collections.

In the past month, the board tabled several requests for such collections while the practice has been studied by trustees Michael Marra and Terry Collesano.

Underlined in the suggested regulations was that no children under age 18 be allowed to collect on the street. The board found previously that a youth sports team had allowed children to go out onto the busy street collecting, and said then that the group would be denied any future requests to raise money in such a manner.

"Children in the middle of Center Street should not happen," Marra said.

The board did not adopt regulations Monday but did use the suggested criteria as they decided on four requests, denying one.

Trustee William Geiben said he would like to see bucket brigades limited to a total of three for the entire year. The suggested policy limits each group to two times per year.

"I'm opposed to [bucket brigades]. They inhibit the traffic flow. I don't like them," Geiben said.

Mayor Richard F. Soluri said the village would need to "study each request."

Other proposed criteria would be to wear orange vests; have safety cones blocking the area; not block turning lanes; not solicit during high traffic on Tuesdays at Artpark; be a recognized charitable organization that is raising money for a specific cause, not just for the organization; must not collect at Academy or Hennepin parks when there are events in the parks; and must produce a certificate of insurance of at least $1 million.

Approved unanimously, with Trustee Kenneth Kenney absent, were motions to allow soliciting on Center Street on July 23 from 4 to 7:45 p.m. for the Kiwanis Peach Queen to raise funds for the Buddy Walk; and for the Kiwanis to collect for Women and Children's Hospital from 9 to 5 p.m. on Aug. 11.

With Geiben dissenting, a motion was approved to allow collection of funds for the Christopher J. D'Angelis Memorial Scholarship from 4 to 7 p.m. on July 19. Soluri said the group had collected previously, but ran into bad weather. He said they had submitted several other dates, but were narrowed down to one more collection date.

Unanimously rejected was a request from the Lewiston Lancers travel baseball team to collect on Center Street for a team trip. Soluri said this request did not meet the criteria of a charitable organization raising funds for a cause.

e-mail: nfischer@buffnews.com

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