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Sunday

August 2014

31

Fundraising for fireworks

Jennie Stoltz's favorite fireworks are the classic, quiet ones - which isn't surprising. She's the Pewaukee Public Library director, after all.

"Last year they did a smiley face, and that was my favorite one because I hadn't seen it before," said Pewaukee Parks and Recreation Director Kelley Woldanski.

The two sit on a committee to raise funds for the Fourth of July fireworks show. Funding had been up in the air when the municipalities stopped paying for the event in 2011. At that time, the City of Pewaukee Common Council paid for the event through the tourism committee while the village paid for the event through contingency funds.

Last year, all funds for the event were raised privately through donations, fundraising and sponsorships. Community organizers wanted to see the celebration continue, and volunteers went to work to reach $11,000 in just a few short months. Some volunteers, such as Bill Woolley, canvassed houses along the lake for donations. Local businesses, such as Nettie's Irish Pub, passed around 50/50 raffle tickets.

"We're very grateful that the community stepped up and decided it was important to them. The amount of support I think that we got last year was pretty overwhelming in the short amount of time that we had, so we're pretty excited to see what happens this year. … I was really glad to see that people didn't let it go away because it's a really integral piece for this community," Woldanski said.

So they're starting earlier this year, hoping to really make a bang. They reached their goal last year and hope to increase that amount, aiming at between $11,000 and $13,000. They'll be going through Bartolotta Fireworks of Genesee again. Last year, the Pewaukee Historical Society facilitated the donations as a 501(c)3, and this year donations will go through the Friends of Pewaukee Park and Recreation.

"If we get more money, we're not saving it. … It's going to that show," Woldanski said, explaining that they will use everything toward the 2013 show.

To donate, contact Woldanski at woldanski@pewaukee.wi.us or Stoltz at jstoltz@pewaukee.lib.wi.us.

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