Christmas show raises $22K for New Milford's Community Fuel Bank

Photo of Sandra Diamond Fox

NEW MILFORD — In a town-wide effort, more than $22,000 was raised for the Community Fuel Bank over the Christmas holiday.

The funds were raised as a result of a live seven-minute play on the 1980’s comedy “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

Several residents, including Tim “Clark Griswold” and John “Cousin Eddie” Wilkinson, dressed up in character and put on a show the Saturday before Christmas — raising $22,537 in about 10 days.

This was the first time the show was turned into a fundraiser.

The show can be viewed by searching the New Milford Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Facebook page. The link to the show was shared about 100 times. Both businesses and residents contributed to the fundraiser.

The Community Fuel Bank is run by the town’s social services and senior center teams.

The goal of the fundraiser is to make sure residents aren’t cold this winter. Clark said the need for assistance is especially true this year, during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The fund is 100 percent directly from the pockets of the donors, right to the people who need it,” Clark said. “It’s a simple fundraiser with a simple message — neighbors helping neighbors.”

He added he was confident the show would be well received. “I knew this was going to be a good vehicle to do an off-the-wall fundraiser that is pretty unique,” Clark said. “The mayor had no clue that we were even doing this.”

New Milford Mayor Pete Bass said he’s pleased so many people can be helped through the effort.

“If someone has had a job loss, or an income loss, and they can’t pay for fuel, we have the ability to help them so they can get some heat into their home — especially in the dead of winter,” Bass said.

To donate, visit newmilford.org and search Community Fuel Bank of New Milford. Or, mail a check to The Mayor’s Office, 10 Main St., New Milford, Connecticut, 06776.

Bass said he hopes to make the fund-raiser an annual initiative.

“I can’t thank Tim and John and the whole team enough for really spearheading this and providing all these additional funds that are going to be very useful to our community,” he said. “It’s how New Milford is, the community gets involved and wonderful things happen.”

sfox@milfordmirror.com