A head start for a spectacular Fourth

KINGSTON — Fireworks are expected to fly this summer for the Kingston Fourth of July celebration, or at least organizers hope they do if things go as planned.

Kingston Thriftway and Greater Kingston Kiwanis are working to make sure money is readily available for this year’s pyrotechnic show so that a repeat of the close call in 2002 can be avoided.

Fund-raising started with a pancake breakfast nearly two weeks ago, explained Kingston Thriftway store manager Jim Raymond, who said the turnout was less than desirable.

“The pancake feed we did last year, we raised $2,000 at that,” Raymond said, noting that there was a more probable reason for that as well. “It was closer to the holiday, the weather was a little nicer.”

It seems like the funding problem happens every year, Raymond added.

To offset this for the 2003 show, organizers tried to kickstart the fund-raising earlier and are expecting to put on more pancake breakfasts and spaghetti feeds in the near future, while continuing their door-to-door campaign.

“(Western Fireworks) has a program all set, we just need to raise money for it,” Raymond said. “They are professionals. They have done an excellent job in years past.”

Donation jars are currently located at local businesses and the famous July 4th buttons are out and on sale.

Dave Muller, president for Greater Kingston Kiwanis, said the buttons, which are a hot speciality item in the area, are in memory of the Columbia Space Shuttle tragedy in February.

“It has a picture of ship and the American flag. It makes you stop and think when you look at,” Muller said. The buttons are being created by several North Kitsap High School student volunteers for community service.

“It’s better than the 75-year-old guys getting Carpel Tunnel Syndrome putting them out,” Muller joked.

The $11,000 campaign is struggling now, but Raymond said he expects that as the holiday gets closer, more funds will flow in. Donations can be dropped off at Kingston Thriftway or in any of the jars in local businesses.

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