Kewanee Fourth of July organizers say they will have to raise substantially more money this year to cover the rising cost of fireworks.
Mark Mikenas, executive director of the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce, announced earlier this year that he had been put on notice by his fireworks supplier that the cost of fireworks were going up. But it’s only recently that he has learned the true cost – a 30% increase over last year.
“We’re going to try to raise $12,500,” said Mikenas.
In previous years, around $10,000 has been raised, with much of the money coming from residents donating their aluminum cans. But over the past several years, the condition of the can compactor has been an issue and the equipment has required frequent repairs. Last year, it completely broke down and became unrepairable and buying a new one isn’t an option. With that fundraising method off the table, Mikenas began to think up new ways to raise money.
Obtaining a sponsor for the event was just one option, and Mikenas said he found one. Mark Petersen of Petersen Health Care has stepped up and offered to sponsor the event, he said. In addition to the event sponsor, several other community-wide fundraisers are being planned.
Last week, letters to local businesses went out asking for a fireworks donation. The director said he is hoping to start seeing some of those funds come in soon.
At Save-A-Lot, owner Everett Whitcher, has offered a "round-up" fundraiser for the entire month of June. Customers will be able to round-up their purchases to the next highest dollar, with the spare change going to fund the fireworks.
Bud Johnson, owner of the Wanee Theater, has offered to hold a movie event, where patrons will be asked for donations to benefit the July 4th celebration. Mikenas said they are still deciding on both the movie and the date and will make an announcement soon.
Countertop cans will soon pop up around Kewanee for donations.
Mikenas has also received several donations from citizens, and one resident has offered to try to make a can compactor so that the Chamber can begin to collect cans again.
“It’s going to take a communitywide effort,” Mikenas said. “We just need people, if they can find a way to donate, to do so.”
Residents who would like to donate to the fireworks are asked to drop by the Chamber of Commerce before noon and drop off money or a check, or they can mail a check to the KCOC at 113 E. 2nd St.
This year’s display will take place at Northeast Park on Monday, July 4. The Chamber is currently working with the Kewanee Park District to plan several aspects of the event.
This article originally appeared on Star Courier: 30 percent jump in fireworks cost worries Kewanee 4th of July organizers