Fourth Firework Funds Funnel In

March 24, 2004
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GRAND RAPIDS — Office-holders ordinarily don’t like fireworks in an election year, but Mayor George Heartwell is all for them.

And he announced today that a private fund-raising effort to finance this year’s Fourth of July fireworks display for the city already is more than halfway to its goal of $65,000.

The mayor said funding-raising began when a number of groups contacted him in the wake of last week’s announcement that the city would not be able to afford a Fourth of July fireworks display.

But today he said, “I am pleased to announce that several companies and a number of individuals have come forward to pledge the generous support to restore this year’s Fourth of July celebration.”

Thus far, he said, $40,000 is pledged for the event.

“There’s clearly a groundswell of support,” he said, “and I found myself bringing the various parties together. The next thing I know, commitments start rolling in from Spartan Stores, Fifth Third Bank, WLAV — 97 FM and the West Michigan Whitecaps.”

He said Fifth Third told him it was committing $10,000, the largest pledge so far.

Spartan Stores, which has helped underwrite the display for eight years, pledged $5,000 plus its assistance with raising more money through its stores, plus a donation of food for hundreds of volunteers needed to serve at the celebration.

Also contributing money or resources for the event are WOOD TV8, Diet Pepsi, Hudsonville Ice Cream, Kent Beverage, Harvey Automotive, Johnny Advertising, Westdale Real Estate and Jones & Gavin Public Relations.

“We are fortunate to live in a community that is so committed to giving back, even during these stark economic times. I promise — we’re going to get a big bang for our buck.”

People or firms wishing to make a donation may send a check, with “4th of July” in the memo, to the City of Grand Rapids Treasurer, C/O City Treasurer — 4th of July, 300 Monroe Ave., NW, Room 22, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

One also may buy a card for $1 to support the project at area Family Food stores.    

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