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Firework Funds Needed

By Matthew Hall
Times Editor

Organizers of the upcoming Independence Day fireworks show desperately need to raise least $6,000 to keep the 2009 show alive.

The Windsor Booster’s Club, along with a dedicated group of volunteers, have been frantically raising money to keep Windsor’s fireworks show after the Town Council cut the celebration due to budget shortfalls.

“It was an extremely difficult decision to eliminate our traditional 4th of July celebration of our nation’s declaration of independence. We have been struggling with elimination of services and layoffs with the economy plummeting and revenues dropping,” said councilmember Steve Allen.

Thanks to generous donations from the Windsor business community, organizers have raised approximately $18,000 so far. The Town of Windsor recently approved $4,500 to help cover some costs, but unless the group reach a fundraising total of $28,000, the show may still be in jeopardy.

“We have an urgent need to get 6K as soon as possible,” said Doug Christian of Harkey Construction. “We need it now.”

Organizers have developed a tiered donation system to provide incentives for companies. Tier 1 is a $500 donation and the company logo will be displayed on a group banner at the event along with PSAs by local media providers. Tier 2 is a $1,000 donation for a 3 x 5 banner with your company logo to be displayed at the event along with two seats at the VIP tent BBQ and PSAs. Tier 3 is a $2,000 donation for a 3 x 5 banner with a company logo to be displayed at the event along with four seats at the VIP tent BBQ and PSAs. Tier 4 is a $5,000 donation, two 3 x 5 banners, one displayed on the 101 freeway off ramp and one at the event and eight seats at the VIP tent BBQ and PSAs.

Jeff Harkey said the bulk of the money raised so far has been from businesses and while the advertised tier system is also aimed at companies, any size donation from private citizens would help overcome the last hurdle. “We need the community,” he said. “If they want to set up and help contribute, now is the time. At least 10,000 people see the fireworks and if they each put in a buck per family member, we’d be more than covered.”

Residents can drop off donations at Harkey Construction, Mary’s Pizza Shack, Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, KC’s Grill, Pholey’s Market, Patterson’s Pub, North Coast Bank and Sonoma Bank. Donations can also be mailed to the Windsor High School Boosters Club at 8868 Lakewood Drive, PMB 148, Windsor, CA, 95492. Checks should be payable to Windsor High School Boosters.

Christian said some donations have been pledged, but not collected yet. “We strongly encourage those that have made pledges to mail those in at this time,” he said.

David Kahn, owner of David’s Hot Dogs on the Green and a member of the Boosters, said the Boosters felt they had to step in and help save the show. “We took it over because we couldn’tfeel that we could let it die,” he said.

Boosters will be providing much of the manpower needed to organize the event and members of WHS sports programs will also be lending a hand. The Boosters Club will use the venue to helppromote local sports.

In addition to money, volunteers are needed. Christian said additional adult volunteers are needed for the night of the show and volunteers of all ages can help clean up the high school at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning.

Allen praised the volunteer efforts that have developed to save the show. “I am extremely thankful for the hard work from the Town staff and the Windsor Boosters – particularly for Doug Christian of Harkey Construction and Ty Marestin with Mary’s Pizza Shack. But the grand finale came when Windsor Refuse approached me asking how they could help. I told them we needed another $8,000 and Jim Ratto didn’t even bat an eye. It’s incredible to see what we can do when we work together for the good of the community.”

Councilmember Sam Salmon said a public/private partnership was an ideal way to save the show.”It’s just what we wanted to happen,” he said. “We are a partner and in these economic timeswe just didn’t feel that the Town could pitch in the $26,000.”

To make a donation, contact Cathy Whiteman at gcwhiteman@aol.com, Doug Christian at doug@harkeyconstruction.com or Ty Marestein at tmarestein@maryspizzashack.com.


The Windsor Times
Original News Article