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Donations needed for annual island fireworks show

The Fourth of July celebration in downtown Winslow is perhaps the biggest annual event on the island.

With a town dance, a festive parade and a patriotic fireworks display to cap it off, Bainbridge Island shows that it likes to party on the fourth.

But the celebration doesn’t come easy — in particular the fireworks display.

For the past four years, the annual fireworks display has been organized by the Bainbridge Island Yacht Club. The club recently formed Bainbridge Fireworks as an incorporated organization to handle the planning, since funding the 15-minute display costs more than the club’s annual budget.

“It’s always kind of pins and needles if we are going to have enough,” said Scott Isenman of Bainbridge Fireworks. “It’s just a handful of people that make it happen for the community, and we have no funding source.”

The organization consists of only five people to assemble and find funding the project. This year, it will take $20,000 to fund the spectacle across the night sky of Eagle Harbor.

So far the group has raised approximately $5,000, which is just enough to pay for the barge that launches the fireworks. They were able to get this far by reaching out by mail to previous years’ contributors.

Bainbridge Fireworks is currently seeking funding for this year’s display and is asking the community for their help to put on the colorful exhibition.

And while they have been able to find a generous donation here and there, it really comes down to a gathering plenty of contributions, many of which are small.

“It’s all small donations,” Isenman said. “We have no one big supporting contributor. We are really dependent on everybody.”

To help this year’s fireworks become a success, islanders can donate through Paypal on the group’s website, www.bainbridgefireworks.org. Donations can also be made at Viking Bank.

Donation jars are also in place at various shops around the island.

The display is seen by onlookers throughout Eagle Harbor, and as far as Seattle. Music accompanies the performance and is broadcast on 107.3 FM.

But to make it all to happen, Isenman asks that islanders to help in anyway they can.

“We are a grassroots group and we are a grassroots program,” Isenman said. “If we don’t have the community’s support, it doesn’t happen.”

Richard D. Oxley can be reached at roxley@bainbridgereview.com.

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