“Hoping for a big day — big week,” said Kim Thomassen, the president of the West High School Homefield Advantage Booster Club, as she stood outside her organization’s booth near the food court of the West Valley Mall on Thursday, June 28.
Thursday marked the beginning of the second year in which so-called safe-and-sane fireworks, which are approved as such by the state, can be sold by nonprofits and used within Tracy city limits.
Representatives of the nine groups that won a lottery to participate in the sale this year cited different reasons for wanting a booth. None of them won lottery spots for the inaugural year of sales in 2011.
Thomassen said her group supports 14 West High sports teams, including baseball, soccer, football and water polo. She said the group hopes to raise a minimum of $1,000 for each team.
She said the joint booth was ideal for the smaller teams that find it difficult to run their own fundraisers.
As members of the Wolf Pack boys soccer team greeted prospective buyers, coach Nate Perry scrambled inside the booth to keep the action organized. He said he planned to use the proceeds to buy new uniforms, explaining that the team’s jerseys were in such poor condition during last year’s playoffs that the numbers were peeling off their backs.
“They’re excited,” Perry said. “Looking good will help with their confidence on the field.”
Standing outside of the Tracy Interfaith Ministries booth on Tracy Boulevard, TNT representative Tim Sass, whose company supplied all the booths with fireworks, said all the nonprofits were ready to go by Thursday morning.
“Looking really good,” he said. “Getting the product organized. Sales were off the chart last year in Tracy. All of the booths are pretty much in the same location, and they should do equally well (this year).”
Some nonprofits netted as much as $30,000 in 2011 from a sales drive the city put together in just a few weeks.
Preparations for this year’s sales period — at least on the city of Tracy’s side — were more deliberate, and lottery winners were drawn in January.
At a glance
• Nonprofit safe-and-sane fireworks booths will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily until Tuesday, July 3, and from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 4.