Fowlerville Fireworks Fundraising Fiasco

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

Fireworks have lit up this now-clear blue sky in Fowlerville every 4th of July for the past 30 years.

This year, the 31st, is in danger of being the last.

"Unless we get more support, no more fireworks," warns 4th of July Committee volunteer Mary Helfmann.

A group of about 10 folks make up the all-volunteer 4th of July Committee. This year, the donations they completely rely on seem to have dissolved into thin air-- much like the fireworks they shoot up into the air.

"We're trying to get funds for the $10,000 show," says volunteer Allen Hale. "We're at $6,500 right now, so we're a little short."

Nobody needs reminding that financial times are tough right now, including the committee. But they say if people want to continue this free tradition, they need to step up somehow.

"People seem to think there's a wizard who is providing all the money for this," Helfmann says. "There's not. The show is funded solely on donations."

The committee thought it would be a good idea to go door to door, asking local business and homes for money to raise funds. But that hasn't even worked.

"Families can only afford to give about $1 or $2 when they used to give $5 or $10," Hale says.

The fireworks this year will go on as planned. But if the collection cannisters go unfilled, next year's display-- well, it just might not happen.

"It's not that people aren't coming," says Helfmann. "They're just not donating like maybe they should be."

They're holding out hope that this year's finale won't be the last.

To donate to the Fowlerville Fourth of July fireworks show, send checks made out to: "Fourth of July Committee" to P.O. Box 677 (Village Hall), Fowlerville, MI 48836.


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