Wednesday May 16 2012
Funding needed for Fourth of July fireworks
By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
Hooray for the Red White and Blue Fourth of July Celebration Donations in any amount can be sent to: The City of Lincoln Fireworks Fund c/o Finance Department 600 Sixth Street One Lincoln resident is doing what he can to ensure Lincoln gets a fireworks show this Independence Day. Mike Hobson has taken the reins this year to raise $25,000 to cover the cost of fireworks, promotion of the event and city services needed to support the event. Funding for Lincoln?s annual fireworks display was cut from the city?s budget in 2010, according to Hobson, and fellow resident Ruth Alves ?picked it up and made it happen.? ?Last year, I helped Ruth and she said at the end of last year that she would like me to take it on,? Hobson said. Hobson ?gladly? took on the challenge. ?This is the one event where the entire community comes together in celebration of a common purpose. It?s not political, religious and ethnic; it?s a single event where the entire community gathers as Americans to celebrate who we are,? Hobson said. ?You can?t let that go away.? Hobson said the task ?has been a lot of fun? but also challenging. ?It takes a lot of money to make it happen and money is tight for a lot of people,? Hobson said. Last year, seven contributors contributed $1,000 or more. This year ?three of them have committed,? according to Hobson. ?Another dozen have contributed between $250 and $1,000, and most have committed a similar amount (this year),? Hobson said. Hobson said he is also looking for event sponsors and a $250 donation by sponsors means ?we include them on the event flyer, in The Lincoln News Messenger and on two joint banners? in Lincoln. ?City staff on this has been amazing. Pam Mathus has been amazingly helpful with ideas, as has (city clerk) Pat Avila,? Hobson said. ?(City Manager) Jim Estep has given me direction on the contract with the fireworks provider.? In addition, Hobson said, the city?s parks and recreation department, solid waste division, police and fire departments ?have been very supportive.? ?Part of our budget includes paying for all of that (police, fire, solid waste and parks expenses related to the fireworks show),? Hobson said. ?The whole purpose of this is so the city incurs no expense. That why we need everyone?s support. Last year, we had people contribute as small as $2.? Hobson said The Lincoln Community Foundation is also helping. ?For those concerned about a tax exempt status for their support, they can make their check payable to the Lincoln Community Foundation and they?ve agreed that 100 percent of all donations go to that purpose,? Hobson said. Councilman Stan Nader, a Lincoln Community Foundation member, said it?s ?absolutely? important that Lincoln have fireworks on the Fourth of July. ?It certainly says something to the rest of the region that we value our people and we value our community to the point that our community steps up to make sure we have a celebration of our independence,? Nader said. ?I think it?s very noble of him (Hobson) to have taken it on from Ruth Alves. Ruth worked very hard and was very successful and I know he?s trying to replicate what she did.? The Lincoln News Messenger profiles a nonprofit organization every week. If you would like to see an organization featured, please call 774-7967 or e-mail stephanied@goldcountrymedia. com.