CHARLOTTE COUNTY Fla.- The Englewood Rotary Club boasts of having the biggest fireworks display in the area. "We know for a fact that ours will be the largest show on the west coast," said Ray LaBadie, Vice President of the fireworks committee. But right now, the rotary club has only raised about half the money they need to pay for the event. According to LaBadie, they are looking to raise thirty five thousand dollars for this years Fourth of July celebration. To help generate those funds, the club put donation buckets in the shape of holiday rockets in some of the local businesses.
Across the harbor in Punta Gorda things aren't looking much better. Organizers there say they are only about half way to their goal of thirty thousand dollars for their fireworks display. Ron Thomas who owns the Tropical Store at the Laishley Marina even donated a unique sculpted bench to raffle off, in hopes of raising five thousand dollars toward the city's fireworks goal. Thomas says that a lot of thought went into the ticket price for the unique prize. "Were doing one dollar tickets it's a dollar- you could take this bench home for a dollar," he said. Both men admit the strained economy is not helping but they insist whatever happens, their communities will have fireworks on Independence Day.
Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Bonita Springs all told WINK News that they are fully funded for their displays on the holiday. Sanibel Island says that they are not quite at their funding goal but they are confident that they will be ready on the Fourth of July.