Use your green to fuel red, white and blue show

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LOREN BENOIT/Press File A red and blue firework explodes over Lake Coeur d’Alene with the moon in the background during last year’s Fourth of July celebration.

By BRIAN WALKER

Staff Writer

COEUR d'ALENE — If everyone who takes in the Fourth of July fireworks show over Lake Coeur d'Alene pitched in just a dollar for the extravaganza, the annual fundraising sweat would dry up.

"The fireworks are funded 100 percent on community donations," said Marilee Wallace, vice president of membership at the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce, which spearheads the fundraising efforts.

Wallace said there's a misconception that the show is funded either by the Hagadone Corp., which pays for the fireworks that kick off the Christmas season, the city, or the Chamber of Commerce.

Wrong, wrong and wrong.

Roughly 30,000 people flood downtown and the lakefront each Fourth of July for the frenetic fireworks, which last up to half an hour, Wallace said.

This year's fundraising goal is $35,000. About $7,000 has been raised, she said.

"The more money we collect, the better the show will be," she said. "If you watch the fireworks and have memories of them with your family, please consider donating."

Businesses, groups or individuals who donate $500 or more can have their donation commemorated with a photo in The Press.

Wallace said chamber members will also be asked to contribute. There will be a donation bucket brigade during the parade, which starts at 10 a.m. and runs westbound from 15th Street to Government Way.

"Every $10, $15 and $50 helps," Wallace said. "Even though there will be a collection with buckets at the parade, we really encourage people to mail or bring in donations earlier. Even though we have some generous small business members who contribute, we still struggle every year to (fund the show)."

Donations can be sent to the chamber office at 105 N. First St., Coeur d'Alene, 83814, or dropped off at that location. Donations will also be accepted online at cdachamber.com. Parade entry and vendor applications are also on the website.

Plans are also in the works to have an amusement park with rides downtown during the Fourth of July. The activities on the Fourth are sponsored by Numerica. There will be food vendors in City Park throughout the day.

For more information, call the Chamber of Commerce at 208-664-3194.

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