There’s still time for local business owners and residents to donate to Osoyoos fireworks

By on June 18, 2014
Sisters-in-law Etta-Mae Pratt (left) and Annette Star are making one final push by asking all local business owners and citizens who want to make a donation to the Canada Day Osoyoos Fireworks Committee to do so as soon as possible. The ladies took over fundraising duties from Frank Zandvliet last year. Zandvliet remains in charge of ordering, setting up and firing off the fireworks. (Keith Lacey file photo)

Sisters-in-law Etta-Mae Pratt (left) and Annette Star are making one final push by asking all local business owners and citizens who want to make a donation to the Canada Day Osoyoos Fireworks Committee to do so as soon as possible. The ladies took over fundraising duties from Frank Zandvliet last year. Zandvliet remains in charge of ordering, setting up and firing off the fireworks. (Keith Lacey file photo)

The two women who have again led the charge to raise the funds needed to put on the spectacular Canada Day fireworks display in Osoyoos are urging all local business owners and citizens who want to make a donation to help the cause to do so within the next few days.

With Canada Day only two weeks away, Annette Star and Etta-Mae Pratt, who are sisters-in-law, say there’s still time for businesses and local residents to make their contributions.

“We’ve asked every single business owner that we know of in town to give what they can, but some have been very busy and we’ll be hitting them up again in the next few days as Canada Day is coming quickly,” said Star. “Local residents who want to donate can contact me or drop off a cheque at the town office.

“Almost all of the money that is needed to run the fireworks comes from donations and we just want to thank everyone who has donated so far and let people know they can still donate right up until July 1 and even after.”

Star and Pratt set a goal to raise $32,000 in donations for the 2014 Osoyoos fireworks and they had raised more than $21,000 as of late last week.

“We’re still waiting on a couple of big donations that we’re confident will be coming in the next few days,” she said. “We still feel we can reach our goal, but we need those who want to make a donation to come forward in the next few days.

“We have to start paying for the actual fireworks very soon.”

For the 18th consecutive year, Frank Zandvliet, an employee with the Town of Osoyoos, will be the man in charge of setting up and firing off what has long been recognized as the second-largest Canada Day fireworks display in the country.

The job done by Zandvliet and his small, but dedicated crew of volunteers is a big reason Osoyoos has gained a national reputation for putting on an incredible Canada Day fireworks display for almost 20 years, said Pratt.

“The crew that sets up and fires off the fireworks are all volunteers and don’t get paid a cent and that’s probably the biggest reason we can afford to put on such a spectacular show because most communities have to pay big bucks to pay for that expertise,” she said.

The local Elks Lodge recently sponsored a community garage sale and bottle drive and it was a huge success with more than $1,500 raised, said Star.

The Osoyoos fireworks display traditionally attracts between 20,000 and 25,000 people .

Star and Pratt say they volunteered to become fundraising co-ordinators last year because they believe this event is truly important to this community.

“The fireworks display has put Osoyoos on the map,” said Star. “We get people from not only the entire Okanagan Valley, but all across B.C. and other parts of Canada who come to our little town for Canada Day and the fireworks is a big reason why.”

Anyone wanting to make a donation can contact Star at 250-495-6227 or at the town hall office during office hours.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

 

 

 

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