‘Save the Fireworks’ drive reaches $500,000 goal

It seems that the show will go on! Just 24 hours after Tom Douglas and Dave Ross announced a pledge drive to raise money to save the Family 4th Fireworks show on Lake Union, the goal of $500,000 has been reached.

Both Microsoft and Starbucks agreed to each pay $125,000 if other businesses and citizens pitched in the remaining $250,000. “We’re pleased to announce, with your help we have reached the goal of raising $500,000 in pledges. According to One Reel, the nonprofit that organizes the show, that is the amount needed to keep the show going,” an announcement posted on MyNorthwest.com states.

Mikhael Williams, spokesperson for One Reel, which has produced the event for more than 20 years, told MyWallingford.com yesterday that Monday was the deadline to meet the goal.

(Full disclosure: Next Door Media, which powers MyBallard.com, has donated to this fund.)

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

57 thoughts to “‘Save the Fireworks’ drive reaches $500,000 goal”

  1. haha “Full Disclosure” = “pat our backs.”

    Well, this is kind of like throwing a party for yourself…but…it is a nice gesture, so thanks for helping to save the fireworks.

  2. It is amazing that our fine denizens can respond so quickly and openly to light up the sky, and yet…(go ahead and fill in your own___).

  3. I am appalled that so much money is being put towards something that is so insignificant. Perhaps this money could have been put to better use by enabling the safety and survival of people who are homeless, and to help raise awareness on sexual assault in our region or towards child abuse education and outreach. I am not trying to be dramatic here, rather realistic. April is both SAAM and child abuse prevention month. Organizations that raise money in this area are struggling every day to stay afloat, being told, “these are tough economic times.” How is it that we as a community are putting our own entertainment above the lives of our vulnerable community members? As a Director of a non-profit in the area of rape, sexual assault and gender violence it is so disappointing to see how little regard we have for issues that truly matter to our community. Advocates spend countless hours trying to raise funds for the cause with little success yet in just a few days, hundreds of thousands are raised for fireworks. I regret the impact that our decision will have on our community, on what it says to those in need. Perhaps next time, we as a community will come together and ask ourselves, where such funds could be better spent. What a truly positive impact we would make in Seattle if we did.

  4. To the people who think the money is not doing anything good…

    Think of the $500,000 as an investment into the general public's pursuit of happiness…

    Or better yet think of it as an investment to help the bottom line of fireworks manufacturer to keep them in business.

    Or think of it as keeping some people gainfully employed. With our economy being what it is, it would not surprise me if companies that manufacture fireworks are suffering.

    Or think of it as helping One Reel, a non profit, in keeping some employees to have this organized, instead of having to let them go because they don't need them due to the cancellation of the show.

    It's easy to pull out the homeless card, but who among us has not spent money on a latte at our favorite shop, or bought a little trinket, or gone out to eat.

    To those of you who bring out the homeless card you should look at yourselves first. If you really believe in your cause that much, just eat top ramen, don't go out and do anything, and donate the rest of your earnings to the poor.

    …and before you think I'm an insensitive person who does not believe in helping the less fortunate, on average I volunteer 10-20 hrs per month and do more than my share of donating to help the less fortunate…

  5. I agree Orphelia, we need to feed the orphans not look at rockets exploding. What kind of message does it say to our kids:

    “Hey look at that bright shinny thing in the sky!”


    Our kids must look in the gutter for inspiration not the skies. Celebrating our country's birth is so…..fascist!

    Giving money to pay for fireworks is like saying “It's ok to rape” or “It's ok to let people starve to death”. So wrong. I'm so angry I need a bumpersticker….

    “Ban the Rockets, feed the World…..Now!”

  6. I agree….just this week I saw money growing on trees in Fremont, it would be so easy to do everything if we picked the bills.

  7. If the general public felt that homeless people were working to help themselves out of being homeless, I am sure you would see a similar response.

    Its a circle of distrust that the money would do any good to help the homeless. When I offer food, 50% of the time, they don't accept it – they just want cash presumably for something other than food! At least with this, I know there will be some result!

    I do hope the TV channels that broadcast the fireworks put some money in as they will sell advertising in between segments of the fireworks.

  8. Wanna bet all the people complaining about PRIVATE money (you know, what you call “my sh*t”) on this event would have no problem with PUBLIC money being spent on the Fremont Solstice Parade.

  9. Gee, I did not know that. Thank you for educating an untraveled, ignorant hick. Now that I understand that fireworks are a good thing because other countries use them, I'm sending in my donation.

  10. The solstice parade opens up for the Fremont fair, and a portion of the proceeds from the fair go to a number of non-profits, mainly Solid Ground.

  11. Don't send anything, you're too happy being a killjoy.

    What's next on things you hate in Seattle, the hydrostatic and Blue Angels?


  12. What amazes me most is that you can raise that amount of money in 24 hours for something as useless as fireworks, yet non-profits who bust their asses for every dollar and don't receive much of anything in kind would never seen a windfall like this.

    Maybe someday we can celebrate this countries birthday by feeding it's citizens. Our homeless, including all those teenage runaways who need a meal, or single mothers living in shelters.

    Don't be a Republican or Democrat on this (because that's the undertone from these comments), try being a human being. Can the selfish attitudes because most of us are one paycheck away from homelessness, and you'd want someone's generosity too.

    So hooray for monumental waste that supposedly celebrates what makes this country great!

  13. I have no problem with private individuals/businesses spending half a million dollars on 20minutes worth of entertainment.

    It is nice to know how much this event costs as it allows a little perspective when I am about to complain about the city spending half a million dollars on project x or y.

  14. redorgreen “To those of you who bring out the homeless card you should look at yourselves first.”

    I agree. I walk the walk. I am an Assaulted Women and Children's advocate and have been in this field for 8+ years. I am also a survivor of abuse. I see the need for funding every single day. To cross reference homelessness and abuse, just look in the area of domestic violence. (not including child abuse, rape, gender violence)

    As for your comment “If you really believe in your cause that much, just eat top ramen, don't go out and do anything, and donate the rest of your earnings to the poor.”

    I commend you for volunteering in your community.

    I don't work in this field for the money, nor do the majority of people I know. We don't make a lot of money and many live at the poverty line. Perhaps, something to reflect on; where we place our priorities as a society.

    It's disheartening to read such comments that are attacking and hurtful towards people simply trying to raise awareness and education in the area of abuse.

  15. Where there is doubt as to where you money goes when donating directly, choose a non-profit to better allocate funding to programs that WILL create positive change in the community.

  16. Why don't the non profits that are seeking donations stand at the entrance to the park on 4th of July with donations jars? People can enjoy the entertainment and donate if they so choose.

  17. What the hell does sexual violence have to do with July 4th fireworks?

    Jeez this town is filled with loons.

    Btw I'm pretty sure even buns enjoy fireworks.

  18. I bet people spend $500k everyday in Seattle on cupcakes. I'm gonna stand outside Cupcake Royal and berate the kiddies for wasting $3 on a cupckae when a 25 cent cracker should be sufficient and they could have helped a rape victm. These kids are callous little s***s, they need to learn 'compassion'.

  19. For an event that draws close to 200,000 viewers plus an additional 200,000 that watch it on tv, I can't believe so many people are complaining about the cost. Sure, $500,000 could go a long way helping homeless or abused but come on. No one is complaining about people spending over $10 to see a movie, or other common ways we spend money on entertainment. This is extremely cheap compared to anything else people would be doing on a night out.

  20. It's hard to believe that fireworks are so important to some people, while in denial of certain current realities. I like to watch them, but don't appreciate the a blatant glorification of warfare (rockets red glare).
    The anniversary of this country's declaration of independence should reflect on the founding morals of our society to suppress tyranny and exploitation. America now needs to regroup and prioritize our efforts to realize what's important to the current world and learn from our mistakes.
    I suggest a candle/bonfire vigil to reflect on what our nation's pride has lost and what it has to gain.
    Morale boosts are important, but not when it eclipses real problems.

  21. A vigil! What a great idea! My kids love quiet, somber events, I've raised them to never enjoy anything without thinking about the starving ethiopians.

    July 4th Vigil Now!

    ….. And no more meat BBQ. Only vegan. Meat is murder afterall.

  22. I personally love the fire works and am excited to hear they came up with the money. Life is going to be stressful for you if you expect people to spend every last dollar of their discretionary income on only causes you see fit.

  23. Note also that this money is not just for the cost of the fireworks. That amount is a drop in the bucket. This money is also for production costs, everything from sani-cans to barricades, extra police to direct traffic, a fireboat to standby in case something goes wrong. What's great is that One Reel just suckered big business to pay more to our city government without taxing them.

  24. “Life is going to be stressful for you if you expect people to spend every last dollar of their discretionary income on only causes you see fit.”

    Yes, like cupcakes.

    Anyone else want to join my protest out side Cupcake Royale today? It's time those little buggers buying those overpriced sweet treats realize they are hurting victims of sexual violence, brutalizing homeless and pumping CO2 into the air with every yummy morsel they enjoy.

    Eat crackers you little twerps, save the planet!

  25. Wow. It's amazing how many sour grapes are out there. I was just thinking, “how fun that the community pitched in to keep a fun, family tradition going” and I make the mistake of reading the comments and all I see are whining and complaints about how people should give their money to something that each individual commenter deems as “morally better use of money”. Almost makes me wonder why I'm a liberal if it means being so self-righteous and close-minded (which is what drives me nuts about conservatives …)

  26. Or you could look at it as “this money doesn't just go to the fireworks it goes towards creating more work for people in a difficult economy”. But then there's nothing to whine about if you look at it that way.

  27. After being in New Orleans last fall I did feel when coming back to Seattle that i was coming back to the city with lots of “anti-fun laws”.

  28. “How is it that we as a community are putting our own entertainment above the lives of our vulnerable community members? “

    I'll tell you why many people don't care…..when you go out and make people feel guilty about a simple, fun pleasure, like July 4th Fireworks, and suggest because we enjoy this wonderful family evening we somehow don't care about sexual violence, global warming, the homeless, whatever bugaboo you find, most normal people get turned off by you and your message.

    I'd also hate to point this out, but our economy would be in the tank and we'd have millions more unemployed and homeless if people didn't spend money on fun.

  29. “why I'm a liberal if it means being so self-righteous and close-minded”

    liberal is different from the lunatic fringe that both parties have to deal with.

  30. The doubt is that it will get homeless people out of their situation. I would like to see some statistics of homeless people that are no longer homeless and are productive members of society from these organizations…

  31. So, how about instead of whining about money for fireworks, you start a your own money drive to help the homeless? But you won't , because true seattlites only organize to be against things, never for things. I swear, Seattle is the whiniest city I've ever been too.

  32. I think that what some people are critical of in this post is the fact that these days, just about every company/organization is laying off people and cutting budgets, citing “this economy”. Apparently, no one has any money.

    And yet, when something as holy and sacred as holiday fireworks is in jeopardy, all of a sudden, it turns out there IS money to be spent. Of course that will upset people who have spent countless hours trying to raise funds and were turned down. Why don't you start celebrating the 4th of July celebration of freedom by letting these people vent their (legitimate, I think) frustrations without namecalling.

  33. fireworks cost a lot of money – I did some research what cities are spending…visit our website at: upinsmokesite.org and see how much some cities spend. Is there another way we could demonstrate our patriotism?

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