Ernie Colburn: Helping fund fireworks is the right move

July 4After a number of years in hiatus, four years ago Mike Dunn said to his wife, “I want to bring the fireworks back to Salisbury.” Knowing Mike as I do, once he sets his mind to something, there’s no turning back.

Mike single-handedly started with “zero” dollars, and put Salisbury’s Fourth of July celebration back on the map! Red White and BOOM was born!

Last year, Mike came to me and asked “Would the Chamber consider co-sponsorship of the fireworks with the City of Salisbury?” I, of course, said “YES!” The City of Salisbury was on board with support as well.

This year’s fireworks display donation drive is under way. We have Mike making updated mini-presentations at the Chamber’s monthly General Membership Luncheons again this month and in June.

The Chamber hopes our business members will see the value in this community bonding event and step-up and support Red White and BOOM with a donation in any amount. Here are a few of our local businesses that have already stepped up and made a contribution to this great cause:

Avery Hall; Gordy Tiger Mart; TGM Group; Alarm Engineering; Pohanka Automotive; Sherwood of Salisbury; McCain & Associates; Hanna Systems; Holloway Funeral Home; Kuhn’s Jewelers; Gamee Elliott State Farm Insurance; Parties, Etc; Bank of Delmarva; 1st Shore Federal; Hebron Savings Bank; Apple Discount Drugs; and Horner Honda – just to name a few.

Red White and BOOM has created a permanent endowment fund at the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. This endowment will help create a permanent source of funding for the fireworks.

Because of construction at Bennett Middle School athletic fields, Red White and BOOM has a new home for 2015.

On the Fourth of July, fireworks will launch from the old Salisbury Mall site, and crowds will gather at County Stadium to enjoy this free celebration. At the stadium, there will be vendors and entertainment prior to the fireworks that the entire family will enjoy. There will be plenty of free parking at the stadium and across the street at the civic center.

With the huge old mall site field as the launch site, all will have a great view as the fireworks shoot 600 feet into the air!

The Chamber congratulates Mike Dunn, Mayor Jim Ireton, City Council President Jake Day and all City Council members as — together — we’ve created the ideal public/private model for success with Red White and BOOM, with contributions from individuals and businesses, civic organizations and foundations, and public funds too.

The Chamber asks its members to consider a donation to light up Salisbury’s skies on the Fourth of July.

Make your check payable to:

Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore

1324 Belmont Ave. Ste 401

Salisbury, MD 21804

Memo: Red White and BOOM

Rarely will the Chamber endorse or ask for funding for another nonprofit organization. We feel, however, this is the exception to the rule.

Fireworks in Salisbury is something that builds community unity and good fellowship, respect and appreciation for our freedom as Americans that is idolized by others around the world and we as Americans know not to take for granted.

This is an event that crosses all socio-economic boundaries and for 20 to 30 minutes we all stare up in the sky with a smile, maybe tears in our eyes and internally cry “I’m proud to be an American” as we celebrate Red White and BOOM, with our friends or a complete stranger the rebirth of our great nation once again.

Colburn is CEO of the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce.

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