Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

March 14, 2013

New group to spearhead fireworks display

Nicole Dominique
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM — A group of local organizations met earlier this week to make sure fireworks in Effingham will go off this summer as usual despite losing the lead coordinator for the display.

The meeting, held at the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce, sought to find groups willing to help out with the July 4 fireworks display at Hendelmeyer Park. The display was previously handled by the Southtown Business Association, but the group disbanded at the end of 2012.

Weeks ago, Effingham City Administrator Jim Arndt sent an email to a number of organizations within the city, alerting them to the situation, which led up to Monday's gathering.

Chamber President Norma Lansing said the meeting went well.

"We had a really good meeting. The (Effingham) Firefighters Association (EFA) has decided they're going to be the lead agency," she said.

The association will be coordinating the event, said EFA representative Tasha Lange.

But she wants to make sure the other committed organizations get recognition too.

"It is a huge combined effort," she said. "We did get a whole lot done at the meeting."

Representatives for the Effingham Park District, the Effingham Knights of Columbus, the Effingham Sunrise Rotary Club, Effingham Noon Rotary, Effingham City and the Chamber of Commerce said their organizations will help with fundraising.

Lansing said the location for the fireworks display, which usually costs between $18,000 and $19,000, may change this year, but Hendelmeyer Park will remain an option.

Lansing said the city plans to donate $10,000 - the same as last year - for the fireworks display, but with the event less than four months away, the council may give an extra $5,000 this year only, should the fireworks fund need a boost.

Fundraising will commence after the consortium meets a few more times about the event. A bank account at Washington Savings Bank is being opened for individuals to donate toward the display.

Lansing said the future of the fireworks display looks good. She also said the group is aiming for long-term results instead of a quick scramble for one year's event and have already tossed around ideas for future years.

Committing to use the same fireworks company for several years could also benefit the event.

"If we can commit to using (one) for multiple years, we can get better rates and better displays," Lansing said. "If we pay early (by the end of April), there are bonuses that go into effect.

"Definitely there will be fireworks this year," she continued. "We're really pleased with the work already."

Nicole Dominique can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 138, or at nicole.dominique@effinghamdailynews.com.