Fundraising falls short for one SWFL fireworks show

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Naples fireworks show. Photo via WINK News

Independence Day means different things to different people. But for Sydney Meals, it means the annual Englewood fireworks show.

“Fireworks is what people think about when you think about the 4th of July,” Meals said.

Meals is also the owner of Dearborn Corner Market.

“It’s mean a lot to our family to continue the traditions of every 4th of July watching the fireworks. Even though you’ve seen fireworks sine you were a kid, you can never get enough fireworks,” Meals said.

But that tradition is now in jeopardy after the Lemon Bay Sunrise Rotary Club says they’re struggling to raise enough money to continue the annual event.

“It really was sad when there was no fireworks. We had zero for two years and then saw the need to pick it up and we started them,” said club member Mike Looney.

For the last decade, the club has worked nearly year-round to raise the $40,000 for the fireworks show on Middle Beach.

“We love to see the families and the little children looking up at the mom, the grandpa the grandchildren looking up just celebrating our nation’s independence,” said club member Keith Rowley.

“It’s a time for families to get together, enjoy our nation’s independence and really get to appreciate the sacrifice that everybody’s made before that,” Looney added.

But the club still needs $11,000 to reach their fundraising goal. If they fail to raise the money, they’ll have to pull it from other programs they fund such as Meals on Wheels, student scholarships and others.

“We’re still short of our goal and we need the community to help us. We take every donation we can get whether it’s a quarter, a dollar or a thousand dollars,” Looney said.

If all goes as planned, fireworks will blast off on July 4th from Middle Beach on Manasota Key. The show is expected to go from 9 p.m. until 9:45 p.m.

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