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AMHERST TIMES: Jolly Boys of Amherst Aren’t So Jolly

by Jim Tricoli
AMHERST TIMES



Each summer we celebrate "Old Home Days" in Williamsville. There are many positive features to these four days in July but there are also some dark side pieces.

If a family of four go to this event, within ½ hour they have easily blown $20 bucks on rides for the kids. The Jolly Boys of Amherst hires the company who supply all the rides and games and they "Boys" also run the beer tent, and the beer tent makes some big bucks.

This entire event is run by the Jolly Boys who say the money they make go to different charities or scholarships. The Amherst police, who protect the people at this event and guide traffic, are paid by the taxpayers of Amherst. The Jolly Boys don't pay one red cent for the police presence. There isn't any money coming from the Village or Town for that purpose even though the Town of Amherst does give the Jolly Boys $2,000 to help them out with their expenses.

I discovered that there was only one sheet of paper dealing with the Jolly Boys concerning "Old Home Days." There wasn't any other information dealing with who took out permits for anything for this event. The reason there wasn't any other paper work was no other paper work was filled out.
I started digging deeper and asked Basil Piazza, who is a member of the Jolly Boys, if he would give a list of charities his group gave money to and the years they gave it. He said he would. He never did. I've asked him several times.

Then, one day as I leaving Mass at my church, Sts. Peter and Paul in the  village, I was approached by a large, tall man who told me to stop looking into the Jolly Boys affairs.

I continued to dig and discovered other information about the Jolly Boys which I think needs to be investigated. The minimum would be that they start paying for the police service provided during Old Home Days.

Originally published on Amherst Times. Republished with permission.