Could this be the last year for the City of Ripon’s fireworks show?
Unless donors step up their efforts, Councilman Dean Uecker indicated that could easily be the case.
At Tuesday’s Ripon City Council meeting, he said only $4,500 thus far has been received by the Fireworks Committee.
“The (Fireworks Committee) needs to write a check for the $10,000 deposit, and we have the money for that,” Uecker said.
Cost for the pyrotechnic event is at least $20,000 – the committee has managed to reach that goal for the last three years.
“The money is just not coming in,” said Uecker, who noted that local businessman and philanthropist Tony Mistlin will make possible the 2014 fireworks thanks to his matching new donations of up to $10,000.
Fireworks return to the Mistlin Sports Complex after the past three years at Ripon High’s Stouffer Field.
Safety issues coupled with the ongoing work to the RHS facility brought fireworks back to Mistlin.
Meanwhile, Bethany Homes stepped up with a healthy donation during the previous year. “The show would not have happened (without that donation),” Uecker said.
Last summer, the Fireworks Committee – Uecker and Vice Mayor Elden ‘Red’ Nutt are part of that group – gave a report on the decreased number of donors.
In 2011, the first year back at RHS, the committee had 344 donors step up to make possible the Independence Day event along downtown.
Those numbers dipped to 209 donors the next year.
This past year 104 donors stepped up for the cause. But the individual donations were much smaller compared to the previous years, with Bethany Homes providing that helping hand.
Uecker noted that money left over from last year is helping make it possible for the Fireworks Committee to issue a check for the deposit.
“This may be the last year for the fireworks show,” he said.