By Helen A. Granger, staff writer
The future of the Independence Day fireworks show – that has taken place every July 4 in Corunna’s McCurdy Park for a number of years – is in jeopardy.
“The cost of the fireworks show is $10,000 every year,” said Angie Fernette chairwoman of the Corunna Fourth of July Commission, in a July 7 interview with The Independent.
Long-term sponsor Meijer and other sponsors like The Independent and The Argus-Press, among others have made it possible for the fireworks show. The Independent’s $2,500 annual contributions were through 2012. The Argus Press contributed $2,500 through 2013.
For 2016 Meijer will continue its support. Each year, Meijer donates $5,000. Approximately $2,500 is a direct cash donation. The remainder is in the form of $50 gift cards that can be given as gifts or used for just about anything in the store. The gift card is available at either Corunna City Hall or from Mayor Chuck Kerridge.
The other $5,000 is in question. “We definitely need another sponsor for $5,000 or two sponsors for $2,500 each or a group of sponsors such as an organization or family to help with the advertising and other related costs,” Fernette said.
And volunteers the day of the event are desperately needed as the crowd increases. “We estimate 8,000 to 10,000 people attend the event inside the park,” Joe Sawyer, city manager, said. Another 8,000 to 10,000 view the fireworks from parking lots throughout Corunna, Caledonia Township and Owosso. Cars line the roadways and streets throughout the city and in the countryside.
“We also need help the day after the fireworks show,” Merilee Lawson, a member of the commission, said in a July 6 interview. “We need about 10 to 12 volunteers the day after to help with the cleanup of the park. That includes walking the park to pick up trash and garbage bags.” It takes only a few hours for groups and organizations that would like to do something for the community.
Members of the Fourth of July Commission include Fernette, Lawson, Al Bayless, Michelle Trowbridge, Richard Sliwa, Dorothy Dvorak and Ralph Sanford.
Volunteers that Fernette asked to be recognized for all their hard work and effort are Theresa Sarrazin, Bob Buschman, Janet Washburn and Shauna Bayless.