Nonprofits primed for fireworks sales
by Glenn Moore
Jun 28, 2013 | 4426 views | 0 0 comments | 78 78 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Beth Waters, a member of the West High Homefield Advantage Athletic Booster Club, participates in a June 19 safety seminar for nonprofits that won a lottery to sell Fourth of July fireworks. Waters was trying to douse a burning bucket of gasoline and diesel fuel with a dry chemical extinguisher.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Beth Waters, a member of the West High Homefield Advantage Athletic Booster Club, participates in a June 19 safety seminar for nonprofits that won a lottery to sell Fourth of July fireworks. Waters was trying to douse a burning bucket of gasoline and diesel fuel with a dry chemical extinguisher. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
slideshow
the National Junior Basketball fireworks booth at 3225 N. Tracy Blvd on Thursday, June 27. Fireworks sales begin in Tracy on Friday, June 28. The group assembles booths in Tracy, Stockton, Modesto and Manteca for the upcoming sales. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
the National Junior Basketball fireworks booth at 3225 N. Tracy Blvd on Thursday, June 27. Fireworks sales begin in Tracy on Friday, June 28. The group assembles booths in Tracy, Stockton, Modesto and Manteca for the upcoming sales. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
slideshow
Sales of legal fireworks begin at noon Friday, June 28, at nine booths run by various nonprofits in Tracy.

The nonprofit groups were picked by a lottery for the right to sell the fireworks, which were legalized by the city in 2011.

Among the first-time participants is DeDe Lievano, of Calvary Chapel Tracy, who said the church’s profits would help send children to camp and build a new church on Gandy Dancer Drive.

“I’m totally excited,” Lievano said. “Should be tons of fun — just hope it’s not too hot.”

The other nonprofits are Job’s Daughters, Order of the Eastern Star, Traina Parents Club, McHenry House Tracy Family Shelter, West High Home Field Advantage Athletic Booster Club, All American Sports Academy, For Carol.com and National Junior Basketball.

They were picked from a pool of 52 organizations by the Tracy Fire Department on Jan. 10.

Kim Thomassen, of West High Home Field Advantage Athletic Booster Club, said the fireworks sale is one of the most important fundraising opportunities of the year.

“The money will be used mostly for equipment and uniforms,” she said. “It’s one of many fundraisers, but this is a big one.”

This is the second year in a row the West High booster club is selling fireworks, which means it won’t be eligible for the 2014 lottery.

The club is hoping to raise $30,000, based on last year’s profits.

“We were lucky to get it two years in a row,” Thomassen said. “Any of the athletes we can help — with the budget cuts, it will be a big help.”

Fireworks can be bought from noon to 8 p.m. Friday and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 29, to Wednesday, July 3. Fireworks can be discharged between noon and 10 p.m. on those days.

On the Fourth of July, sales are extended to 9 p.m. and fireworks can be set off until midnight.

Outside of city limits, discharging any kind of fireworks remains illegal. That ban includes Banta and Mountain House and unincorporated neighborhoods around Tracy.

More than 100 volunteers representing the nine nonprofits gathered at Tracy City Hall on June 19 for a safety seminar that explained the rules for selling fireworks.

Division Chief David Bramell of the Tracy Fire Department discussed safety regulations, covering topics from how many fire extinguishers must be kept on hand to how close a car or truck can park to a booth.

Later, volunteers practiced using a small chemical extinguisher on a live fire.

At least one person who was at the seminar must be working at all times at each booth, including the Calvary Chapel Tracy site in the parking lot of Save Mart Supermarkets at 875 S. Tracy Blvd.

The location has attracted top sales in the past. In 2012, Tracy African American Association took in between $80,000 and $90,000 in gross sales, and Tracy Learning Center did $70,000 in sales there in 2011.

Last year’s lowest-grossing booth location was 3225 N. Tracy Blvd., where the Helpful Hearts Foundation collected $28,000 in gross sales.

The nonprofits must pay the company that

provides the pyrotechnics they sell — either Phantom Fireworks or TNT Fireworks — from their gross receipts.

“We’re hoping for this to be a big help,” Lievano said. “Hope we can raise around $40,000 to $50,000.”

Mike Pihlman, director of For Carol.com Inc., is also getting his first turn at fireworks sales at 1973 N. Tracy Blvd.

The For Carol.com nonprofit provides a scholarship in memory of Tracy High School graduate Carol Phan, one of four teenagers who died in a car accident in 2010.

“It is a huge boost, unbelievable,” Pihlman said. “It is hard to get donations for this. Teens driving safe is not something people think of.”

He is hoping to make a profit of $20,000 or more to fund his organization’s annual $1,000 college scholarship for a Tracy High International Baccalaureate or Agricultural-Scientific Academy student.

“My current thinking is it will last 15-20 years,” Pihlman said. “It’s a great opportunity to raise money. The whole procedure is exciting.”

A short stretch of north Tracy Boulevard will have booths run by For Carol.com, Order of the Eastern Star and National Junior Basketball situated about half a mile apart.

Pihlman admitted to hearing complaints about the proximity of some fireworks booths to each other, but he was unruffled.

“I’m not worried about it — I think I’ll get my share,” he said.

• Contact Glenn Moore at 830-4252 or gmoore@tracypress.com.
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet


We encourage readers to share online comments in this forum, but please keep them respectful and constructive. This is not a space for personal attacks, libelous statements, profanity or racist slurs. Comments that stray from the topic of the story or are found to contain abusive language are subject to removal at the Press’ discretion, and the writer responsible will be subject to being blocked from making further comments and have their past comments deleted. Readers may report inappropriate comments by e-mailing the editor at tpnews@tracypress.com.