Tony Mistlin is doing his part to help with the City of Ripon’s fireworks display.
At Tuesday’s Ripon City Council meeting, the local businessman and philanthropist offered to match donations for the Fourth of July event, up to $10,000.
Fireworks will return to Mistlin Sports Park in 2014 due in part to changes in public safety regulations – specifically, the fallout zone, once calculated at 70-feet for every inch in diameter of the largest shell, is now 100 feet per every inch in diameter of the largest shell.
For the past three years, the community event was held at Ripon High’s Stouffer Field thanks to the concerted efforts of the Fireworks Committee consisting of Councilman Elden ‘Red’ Nutt and Uecker.
But donations were also a concern.
This past year, the group managed $29,661, with a good portion of that coming from a $15,000 donation by Bethany Homes. Without that, the committee mustered up $14,661 in donations.
That’s far cry from the first year. In 2011, the Fireworks Committee raked in $25,796 in donations. Of that, $20,000 was spent for the event featuring the pyrotechnic display.
The fundraising efforts took a slight dip the next year. The group raked in $21,603, spending slightly more for Fourth of July. The modest deficit was easily covered by the $5,796 left from the previous year, Uecker said.
The committee, meanwhile, is nearly halfway towards matching the Mistlin pledge. Thus far, the committee has over $4,000 in funding for the 2014 fireworks display.
Elected leaders were grateful for Tony Mistlin’s generosity.
“I thank Mr. Mistlin for his offer because we sure need it,” Nutt said.
Added Jake Parks, “It’s not just the offer, but all the time he has given and for all he has donated.”
Vice Mayor Chuck Winn is expecting the 2014 fireworks show will be a great event. “With the show at the Mistlin Sports Park, there will be room for more activities for families to enjoy,” he said.