Less money may mean smaller July 4 show on Lake Wylie

Donations needed to pull off fireworks

jmarks@lakewyliepilot.comJune 14, 2013 

  • Want to help? Send a check in any amount marked “July 4 Firework Fund” to 1 Thunderbird Lane, Lake Wylie, SC 29710.

— Lake Wylie’s July 4 fireworks show may be noticeably smaller this year. How noticeable depends on one last fundraising kick.

Camp Thunderbird is committed to a show at least half the size of past events. If more funding comes by the end of this week, the show could grow or possibly return to the size of past shows.

Brad Rippetoe, director of operations at Camp Thunderbird, said Thursday he told the fireworks company to expect a $10,000 show to match money raised so far. He asked the company to hold off until the end of this week should more money come in, saying it could bump up to $15,000 or even the full $20,000 show that’s traditionally held.

Early last week, only about $1,200 sat in the community fund after a $5,000 deposit had been paid.

“We’re a little behind where we normally are,” Rippetoe said.

Lake Wylie’s fireworks show is funded entirely through community donations. Camp Thunderbird, which hosts smaller fireworks shows during the summer and has the insurance for it, hosts the show every July 4.

“The community has always come through in the past,” Rippetoe said Thursday about donations.

Partnering with camp is the Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce, which sends out letters for donations. Chamber President Susan Bromfield is a long-time organizer of the fundraising and said the same few people tend to donate year after year.

Organizers say the annual grind to come up with funding could lead to varying sized shows each year, depending on community support.

“If the community wants the July fireworks tradition to continue, they need to support them by sending a check, Bromfield said.

Want to help? Send a check in any amount marked “July 4 Firework Fund” to 1 Thunderbird Lane, Lake Wylie, SC 29710.

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