The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Fireworks yield funds to benefit the community

 

Diana Zimmerman

Terri Elfers and Renee Robert enjoyed some good weather and conversation while manning the Lions Club Fireworks Stand on Saturday.

Renee Robert and Terri Elfers know their fireworks.

They should. The two are long time volunteers with the local Lions Club, whose biggest fundraiser each year is the Fireworks Stand which pops up annually on the property across from the Chevron station.

The fireworks come from a company in Oregon, Western Fireworks. The Lions Club gets a percentage of everything they sell, and what they don't sell goes back to their supplier.

The stand goes together like a jigsaw puzzle. Volunteers have become so adept at assembling the structure, they can have it put together and stocked with goods in two and half hours.

"Then the fun starts," Robert said. "We get to see lots of people. Some people we don't see but once a year when we see them here."

"All the money raised by the Lions Club stays in the community," Robert said.

It goes toward glasses and hearing aids. They've used funds to help build a ramp for someone, or for firewood for people in the wintertime, or to buy groceries. This event, along with bingo at the fair, calendars, and berry sales also raises money for two scholarships for graduating seniors and the student of the month program.

It's not only the biggest money maker for the club, it's the most time consuming. They open on June 28 at noon and stay there through July 4. Their window is open during the day, but the stand is watched 24 hours a day for a week.

Diana Zimmerman

The Heavy Hitters Artillery Shells were given to a lucky winner in a drawing on July 4. Everyone who spent $30 at the stand was entered into the drawing.

Unfortunately, their product can draw some unwanted attention. A volunteer spends each night in a trailer parked next to the stand, while a car is pulled up to block the entrance to the stand. The stand windows are bolted down, all to prevent theft.

They used to pack up the stand every night, but their new system is just as effective and requires a bit less work.

According to Elfers, the Excalibur is the biggest seller.

"We had one gentleman come in this morning and buy two Goliaths and one Excalibur," she said. "That's serious."

Every customer that spends $30 gets their name in a drawing for a big collection called Heavy Hitters Artillery Shells.

"We have big supporters in the community who like to support the Lions Club and buy a lot," Elfers said.

According to Robert, their prices, which are set by the supplier, are comparable to those in Longview.

 

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