Nine non-profit groups win Fourth of July fireworks licenses
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Jan 10, 2014 | 6281 views | 1 1 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fireworks lottery
Tracy Fire Department Division Chief David Bramell watches as Little Miss Fourth of July Hayley Bogetti draws a number for the fireworks lottery on Thursday, Jan. 9 at Tracy City Hall while Fourth of July Queen Malorie Bournazian waits to turn the tumbler.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Out of a field of 44 non-profits, nine lucky groups were chosen in a lottery at Tracy City Hall on Thursday, Jan. 9 to grant them the opportunity to apply for a permit to sell safe and sane fireworks in Tracy this year.

The nine winners were Sow A Seed Community Foundation, Grace Baptist Church, Knights of Columbus Council #4041, Scoop Ministries Inc., Coalition Of Tracy Citizens To Assist The Homeless, South Side Community Organization, Kiona Foundation Inc., Traina Parents Club, and Tracy City Center Association.

The drawing was held in the city council chambers. Numbers representing each of the applying non-profits were written on ping-pong balls and placed into a rotating tumbler.

Spinning the tumbler, Little Miss Fourth of July Hayley Bogetti and Fourth of July Queen Malorie Bournazian took turns taking out individual balls to determine the nine winners and three alternates.

The alternates will be given the opportunity to apply for a permit if any of the original groups do not complete the application process.

The three alternate groups chosen were Bread of Life, Boys & Girls Clubs of Tracy and New Beginnings Apostolic Church.

During the lottery, a crowd of more than 50 non-profit representatives sat silently as event coordinator David Bramell, division chief for the Tracy Fire Department, announced the winners.

Scoop Ministries representative Staci Beckman said she wanted to shout out after hearing her groups number called, but she was in shock.

“This is our first year winning,” she said. “I heard the number and they kept calling numbers so I wasn’t sure if it was too late to yell woo-hoo.”

Tom Simpson of the Knights of Columbus said he had a feeling number five was going to be a lucky lottery number to represent his group.

“When they were picking single digit (winners) I thought we had a shot,” he said. “This is our first time winning.”

Although there were more than 50 lottery applicants this year, only 44 groups had met the qualifications to apply, said Bramell

In order to qualify, each applicant must have a minimum of 20 Tracy residents as members, be a designated non-profit for at least a year, and hold all of their meetings in the city of Tracy, he said.

“We had a lot of reoccurring groups apply,” Bramell said. “The idea of the lottery is to spread the wealth.”

Among the lottery winners this year were three previous winners.

Winning during the first lottery in 2011 was Sow A Seed, while the homeless coalition and the Traina Parents Club won slots in 2013.

“We’re excited,” said Lisa Encarnacion, who spoke as a representative of the homeless coalition.

“We feel really blessed,” she said. “We won in the first year. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it and we need it. You can do so many things with it (money).”

Each of the nine lottery winners will have until 5 p.m. on April 30 to submit their completed fireworks permit packet to the Tracy Fire Department to see if they will be approved to open a safe and sane fireworks booth this year.

Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or

Comments-icon Post a Comment
January 11, 2014
With California looking at a drought, I think fireworks should be banned for safety. I don't care how safe and sane the fireworks are that are sold, the ones in my neighborhood rival the City's show. For a weeks before, all night on the 4th, and weeks after, it sounds like a war zone. I love fireworks, but some citizens have taken the right to discharge fireworks way beyond the safe and sane level. I feel sorry for the policemen and firemen during this time - trying to control an out-of-control City.

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