The hard work by those involved in the fundraising effort to help the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce reach its goal of $25,000 for the Fourth of July fireworks and a second display during the Harley Owner's Group Rally at the end of July has paid off.
Now that the fundraising is complete for this year's events the chamber has done its final tally and it was announced Monday that $27,500 was raised. Last year $22,000 was raised for the fireworks, so an extra $1,500 will be invested for the holiday show. $5,500 will be put toward the bike rally fireworks show.
To raise the money for 2013, several different events were planned. The chamber sold fireworks buttons for $5 each, held a new contest called Kiss the Pig and conducted a bake sale at the chamber. As always a lot of work was put into the fundraising effort by the chamber and its volunteers and staff. Executive Director Jackie Krawczak said she is glad the goal was achieved and hopes people appreciate the hard work and time the volunteers donated to have Alpena's fireworks display be the best it can be.
"The entire community should be appreciative on how many people stepped forward and made donations, how many businesses donated and how many volunteers put time into making this happen, so we can have a better show than last year," Krawczak said. "Because of the goal being reached we will also have a better fireworks show on July 27 than what we initially thought we would, too."
Krawczak said the contracts with the fireworks company are already in place and plans are in place for some changes to the way the fireworks are launched. She said the changes will make them more visible for more people.
"When we talked to them we informed them we didn't want the big gaps in between one another, but that was a technical difficulty last year, so we hope we won't experience that again," Krawczak said. "We also told them we have people viewing from all over and not just at the beach and that they need to be high enough for everyone to see. They will keep the ground effects to a minimum, where some people just can see them. The length of the show will be about the same, but it will be a better show."
Krawczak said a new goal will be set for next year and that any money that comes in now will be put toward the new goal and next year's fireworks show. She said events like Kiss the Pig may return as well and other ideas are already being considered.
"Now that we have seen what people can do and how much was raised we may increase the goal, but we probably won't make it $27,000, because this was for two shows this year," Krawczak said. "We discussed having the Kiss the Pig again with maybe including a few different variations. Right now it is all a surprise."
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review ... at www.thealpenanews.com.