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Late donations save Kailua fireworks for July 4th

A late flurry of donations will enable a community group to stage the annual Kailua Fourth of July fireworks display, keeping a 62-year-old tradition alive.

Save Kailua’s Fireworks! has met its goal of raising $50,000 to hold the pyrotechnic show, which will begin at 8 p.m. Sunday off Kailua Beach Park, chairwoman Brook Gramann said.

On Monday, the group reported it was $17,000 shy of its $50,000 goal. Hardware Hawaii then gave $10,000 and the group received an outpouring of donations from individuals.

A couple in Maryland sent a $250 check and a person in Georgia contributed $100, Gramann said. The group placed donation boxes in 24 Kailua businesses, raising $2,000, she said.

“The really great thing about having to do the community outreach to raise funds is that the community now feels very involved and a part of the annual celebration,” said Gramann, whose group stepped into a void two years after the Kailua Chamber of Commerce withdrew its participation in the fireworks show.

“Donations were slow in the beginning,” said Gramann. “I think people were still not sure how the fireworks show really worked. In the past, it just sort of happened every year, under the radar.”

The group has also received donations from Castle Medical Center, Target, All Pool and Spa, Kalapawai Market as well as many other businesses in Kailua, local politicians and residents.

Tom Likos of Fireworks by Grucci-Hawaii is donating additional fireworks to extend the 12- to 14- minute show.

Gramann said she does sees her and her group spearheading the effort every year, but said now that the group has saved the show twice, sponsors will see the value of supporting the event.

“We’d love it if we could find a title sponsor, or several large sponsors to fund the event,” she said.

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