North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Nonprofits sell fireworks for the last time

Marysville's fireworks ban which takes effect next year leaves some nonprofits looking for new fundraisers

 

Christopher Andersson

Brooke Eylander, left, a member of the Reclamation Church in Marysville, talks to customers at the church's fireworks stand on July 1.

This is the last year of fireworks sales in Marysville, as fireworks will be prohibited by the city next year, leaving some non-profit organizations looking for new fundraisers.

It is common for fireworks companies to work with local organizations to provide staff for the seasonal stands, and those organizations typically get a percentage of the profit.

In January the Marysville City Council voted to ban fireworks due to problems with fireworks enforcement, among other issues, and public complaints, however due to state law the ordinance cannot take effect until next year.

The Reclamation Church in Marysville has been running fireworks stands for more than a decade.

"It provides more than half of our operating budget for student ministry," said youth pastor for the church Brandon Hart.

That ends up being around $8,000 each year for the church that they use for summer camps, he said.

"They have chances to do some fun things with rope courses, challenges, some team building and spiritual growth," he said.

Marysville Foursquare Church also operated a fireworks stand this year, also to raise money for their camps.

Their camps are near Spokane, "so just the cost of transportation is very high, but our motto every year has been that we want to send every kid to camp," said Pam Durham, youth pastor at the church.

Church member Anessa Adams, who attended the camp last year, said "the swimming was really fun because they have this high dive that's floating over the water."

Andrew Adams also liked the camp "especially the concerts at night," he said.

Other nonprofit organizations like Pirates of Treasure Island use the funds to help their mission.

The pirates are well-known for participating in local parades, but they also help with nonprofit work, food drives and toy drives, said David Goodale, a.k.a. Captain Sparky of the Pirates of Treasure Island.

"It's all about the kids. Yeah, we do parades and have fun but anything we can do to help out the community is what we're about," he said.

This is the first year they've participated, but Goodale said the funds help the organization.

"That cut goes into our funds to help supply the insurance and everything so we can keep doing all the things we're doing," he said.

Organizations often said they enjoyed supplying fireworks for the Fourth of July.

Many of the organizations said they liked to interact with the local kids in Marysville.

"We like to give them a little treasure as they check out, and they get a little ride on the half-gallion here [a small vehicle dressed as a pirate ship]," said Goodale.

"Seeing kids get so excited about 'I love this' and 'I love this' is fun. That's what I remember as a kid, but now we're on the inside part of that making it happen," said Hart.

Durham said she gets to connect with the community.

Christopher Andersson

photo BY CHRISTOPHER ANDERSSON Anessa Adams, front, and Andrew Adams wave signs for Marysville Foursquare Chruch's fireworks stand on July 1.

"We had a gal that came in and bought a considerable amount of fireworks this morning and then came back and brought our students pizza," she said.

Durham said this was the first year they've tried selling fireworks and have found that it was low-risk and didn't require an excessive workload like some of the other fundraisers the church has tried.

"It's sad that this is the last year Marysville can do it, but we're considering what surrounding communities we could do it for next year because I could see this as something our church invests in year after year," she said.

Hart said he was sad that the church will no longer be able to sell fireworks in Marysville.

"That'll be a real bummer losing that," he said. They don't have any plans for next year yet though, and are considering moving to a nearby town.

"Most likely we'll have to just find a new kind of thing," he said.

 

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