This year’s Fourth of July fireworks at Sporthaven Beach in Harbor are a go.
FUN’d the Fourth coordinator Barb Ciaramella is $6,000 short to pay for the $25,000 extravaganza, but is confident she will make up the difference within a week.
“There’s a lot of people saying they’re going to help; it’s just not going to be here by the Fourth,” she said. “So we’re full-blown going ahead with the fireworks. We’re excited about it.”
Veterans organizations in Brookings hosted the fireworks for years, but cited aging members and difficulty raising funds among the reasons to abandon the event two years ago. With just a few months to go, Ciaramella raised the money needed for last year’s display, and started fundraising in November for next week’s event.
A new feature this year is the sale of $25 commemorative lapel pins that enter the buyer into a drawing for a cruise for two to Mexico. The ship goes from Los Angeles to Mexico, with stops in Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlán.
Only 100 pins are left, and are are available at Chetco Brewing, the Chetco Activity Center, the Visitor Center at the Port of Brookings Harbor and the Curry Coastal Pilot office. Donations will be accepted and lapel pins sold outside Grocery Outlet in Harbor this weekend, as well as on Facebook by typing in FUN’d the Fourth Cruise Raffle.
“Ocean Suites bought a button for each room in their hotel — 23 rooms — so if you stay at their hotel on the Fourth, you could win the cruise,” Ciaramella said. “That’s the kind of support and encouragement we’re getting from the community.”
The cruise will be raffled off noon Wednesday.
Despite the added incentive, Ciaramella said fundraising this year was tougher than last.
“I think people felt sorry for us last year; we had such a small window (of time),” she said. “People are so busy.”
With the extra time, Ciaramella sent out letters asking companies to include a contribution in their 2018 budget. She’s anticipating a larger draw at the port, too, based on what her visitor’s center there is experiencing with pent-up demand after last summer’s Chetco Bar Fire kept tourists away.
Other fundraising events this year included five “history pubs” at the Chetco Activity Center, where long-time residents or specialists about various topics spoke. Each of those rose between $500 and $800 for Fun’d the Fourth.
“Again, a lot was going on the same nights,” Ciaramella said. “So we did have competition.”
Next year, Ciaramella is imagining an even bigger and better Fourth.
“We’re looking to do things a little differently next year,” she said, “just because we think what they’re doing in Crescent City is awesome. We might want to follow their lead a little.”
If she can get fundraising efforts secured by someone else, she would like to organize a full day’s worth of events at the port, to include such events as a battle of the bands and old-fashioned sack races.
This year, she’s also excited because the forecast is calling for clear skies.
“It looks like it’s on our side this year,” she said. “We’ll keep our fingers crossed.”