Fireworks fundraising blasts off
By Meg Olson
All of a sudden people are getting on the bandwagon. We will have our fireworks, said chamber of commerce president Pam Christianson after a successful garage sale pushed the fireworks fund $2,500 closer to its goal.
The chamber has been scrambling for dollars since city council approved a Blaine tourism advisory committee recommendation in March to cut events funding in favor of long-term infrastructure and tourism development projects. City support for chamber events plummeted from $40,000 to $15,000. It takes that much just to do the Skywater kickoff, Christianson said.
With a combination of special fundraising events and private donations, the chamber has pulled in $7,000 of the $10,000 budget for the Fourth of July fireworks. Christianson said they had opted not to cut back on the fireworks but pursue donations to keep the budget at the level it was last year. Well be doing what we did last year but bigger and better, Christianson said. Last Fourth of July a community picnic at Blaine Marine Park and a salmon feed at Resort Semiahmoo welcomed thousands of fireworks fanciers who lined the shores of Drayton Harbor and Semiahmoo Bay to watch the show. This year all the planned events on July 4 will be at Semiahmoo but families with their own picnic plans can still enjoy the show again from the marine park.
Individual donations have ranged from a few dollars to a thousand, Christianson said. The Port of Bellingham has put in $1,000 and the local Cost Cutter store has committed $500. They also said they would be willing to do a point of purchase fundraiser, Christianson added. For the recent garage sale Blaine Marina donated a new loveseat and two new sofas which were the biggest ticket items at the sale. Earlier this year the Bite of Blaine, another chamber fundraiser featuring local restaurateurs, raised $2,000.
We have about $3,000 to go, Christianson said. A lot of people feel strongly they want fireworks. Its important for Blaine. Im bound and determined one way or another its going to happen.