By Helen A. Granger, staff writer
Corunna announced Oct. 13 that Patsy Lou Williamson Group will be unable to pay its sponsorship for the 2016 Fourth of July Fireworks show and has yet to pay for its share of 2015 sponsorship of the show.
“We have been going in circles and received word that the $5,000 sponsorship (for the 2015 fireworks) will not be paid and that Patsy Lou will be unable to sponsor the event for 2016,” Sawyer said in an Oct. 14 telephone interview with The Independent.
“We do not want to highlight the negative aspects of what has happened but want to highlight the positives of the Fourth of July event and the Fireworks Show.” He added: “At the same time our sponsors and the community need to know that Patsy Lou Williamson Group did not pay its portion of the 2015 sponsorship even though their name was on all of the advertising. We have had many wonderful sponsors over the years that have made the fireworks possible. It wouldn’t be fair to the sponsors or the community to think that Patsy Lou sponsored (the fireworks) when they still haven’t paid the sponsorship fee.”
“The bills for last year needed to be paid and the city had to take the money from the Parks and Recreation Improvement fund with the hopes that the sponsorship would be paid. It may be likely that we may have to take another $5,000 from the Parks and Recreation Improvement fund for this year (2016) because we have a contract to fulfill with the fireworks company,” Sawyer said Oct. 14. Of note, in April 2015 the city signed a three-year contract with Wolverine Fireworks to provide 1,100 shells each of the three years at a cost of $10,000 for each of the three years of the contract.
The good news is Meijer will continue its support for 2016. Each year, for many years, Meijer donated $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 cards are available at either Corunna City Hall or from Mayor Chuck Kerridge.
If a sponsor(s) cannot be found, the number of fireworks may have to be reduced drastically or to cancel the fireworks altogether, Sawyer explained. In essence it would become a Fourth of July celebration without the fireworks.