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Times Editorial Board 10:39am CDT March 26, 2015
The past few years cash donations have declined. Five and 10 years ago, when the show moved to a barge-based shoot, donations always were enough to cover costs in advance. That’s no longer the case.
- 100 days from now, fireworks aim to light up the night sky on America’s birthday
- Cash donations needed to cover about $60,000 in hard costs
- All-volunteer fireworks committee, a nonprofit, seeks your help
Unless you’re really into America’s birthday, pyrotechnics or both, you probably don’t know that Thursday marks the 100-day countdown to July 4th and the 68th annual St. Cloud Area July 4th Fireworks show.
But here’s the deal from an Editorial Board that is very much aware — and supportive — of this massively popular, patriotic celebration: What’s become one of the best July 4th shows in the upper Midwest needs huge community support if it’s to remain an awesome way to end America’s birthday.
And Central Minnesotans have less than 100 days to make that happen.
The reality is in the past few years, donations — especially cash — have slowly and steadily declined. Five and 10 years ago, when the show moved to a barge-based shoot anchored between Hester and Wilson parks on the Mississippi River, donations always were enough to allow organizers to plan and purchase necessities a year (or at least months) in advance.
That’s no longer the case. Despite becoming an official nonprofit organization recently, the all-volunteer St. Cloud Fireworks Committee heads toward the 68th annual show with virtually no carryover in its account.
Yet organizers know about $60,000 or more will be needed to cover the hard costs it takes to provide the 25-minute show that 40,000 or so area residents have come to “ooooohhh and awwwwww” about after every July 4th sunset.
And please note that dollar amount does not include countless in-kind donations from dozens of businesses, public and private organizations and volunteers.
Thankfully, many of these longtime show sponsors and donors plan to help again this summer. But it’s also undeniable that their contributions won’t be enough to continue the quality of the river-based shoot.
So with 100 days to go until the launch of this 68th annual show, this Editorial Board makes a very direct, heartfelt request to residents, businesses and organizations: Please consider making a monetary donation to the 501(c)3 non-profit fireworks fund.
You can do so online, just click on “Donate.” Or you can send contributions large or small to Fireworks Fund, St. Cloud Fireworks Committee, c/o Gray Plant Mooty, Attn: Marilee Johnson, 1010 W. St. Germain St., Ste. 500, St. Cloud, MN 56301.
Or read article on the St. Cloud Times website: