Kailua group raising funds to bring back Fourth of July fireworks
KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For the first time in more than 60 years, fireworks didn't light up the night in Kailua last Fourth of July.
Now a group of residents is raising money to make sure it doesn't happen again.
The group, Kailua Fireworks, only formed a few months ago and it's already raised about $10,000, but that's only a fraction of what it needs to get the aerials off the ground.
"I think a lot of people just think it happens," said Jamie Osborne, Kailua Fireworks treasurer. "They just say, 'Oh, it's spontaneous, we go out on the beach on the Fourth of July and there are fireworks.' It really doesn't just happen. It takes a lot of effort and a lot of work and some people think somebody else is contributing."
Kailua Fireworks is asking residents and businesses to pitch in for a show through buying t-shirts or making a donation.
The fireworks show itself is about $45,000, but Osborne says it takes much more to put on the event.
"We have to hire all of these off duty cops and for every few off duty cops, there's a supervisor," Osborne said."Then there's the fire department, there's the road safety,so we have to have barricades and hire all those for the flashing signs, so when you add up all that stuff you are looking at $70,000."
The Kailua Chamber of Commerce oversaw the fireworks up until 2010.
The show only went on the following year thanks to a last-minute private donation.
The Kailua Fireworks group is hoping corporate sponsors will come through soon. Lanikai Bath and body has made several contributions.
"It's really important because it brings a sense of community and it's something fun that the whole community can do and it brings families together and it's something fun for the kids too," said Patty Paz, employee of Lanikai Bath and Body.
Donations can also be made through the group's web site: www.kailuafireworks.com
The plan is to rally enough support so fireworks will go off for many Independence Days to come.
"If we had it funded for sure for next year, then we could raise funds for next year for the following year and it would kind of snowball a bit, but if we have to scramble and barely make it, then it's a problem," Osborne said.
The group would like to secure funding by the end of May.
If the goal isn't met, Kailua Fireworks will re-fund donors and give any remaining money to charity.
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