Who says that a dance at the schoolhouse gym can't help pay the bills.
Ryan Woods, whose campaign collected more than $17,000 in one night at his May 10 dance-fundraiser at the Blessed Mother Teresa school on Savin Hill Avenue, was declared the winner of the 2008 Mayor of Dorchester contest on Monday evening. Woods tallied a total of $24,259 in contributions for the Dorchester Day Parade Committee.
Together, the three hopefuls for the mayor's title raised more than $34,000 to help pay for this year's June 1st parade. Runner-up candidates Gloria-Ann Vieira and P.J. Trapani were each named "deputy mayors" in appreciation for their efforts. Vieira turned over $6,377 to parade officials, while Trapani pitched in an additional $3,512.
"It was fun, but I never knew how hard it is to raise money. I'll definitely do my best next time," said Trapani, hinting at an encore campaign in '09.
"Gloria did an outstanding job given her schedule. She has a real desire to help make Dorchester a better place," said Mike Mackan, himself a former mayor of Dorchester who ran Vieira's campaign.
Ed Crowley, adjutant of the parade, said Monday that the friendly rivalry between the three helped make the contest a success.
"There was a buzz back in the neighborhood this year," Crowley said of the contest.
Woods said he was surprised by the amount he was able to raise over the last month-and-a-half. In addition to the school dance, he organized a karaoke night at Phillips Old Colony House and a scavenger hunt in Adams Corner to generate interest and checks.
The parade, which steps off from Lower Mills at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 1, will follow its traditional course up Dorchester Avenue to Columbia Road. A full report on the parade - including a roster of bands, floats and other participants - will be available in next week's Dorchester Reporter.