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OPINION: City fireworks display needs citizens’ support

April 15, 2011
The Herald-Star

One of the year's main attractions to the Gem City is its legendary Independence Day fireworks display every year at Clarke Hinkle Stadium.

Each year thousands of visitors from other municipalities and Toronto natives return home just to see the majestic tribute to our country's founding. For years city businesses, organizations and citizens have supported the fireworks though generous donations, making it one of the "must see" events year after year.

This year is no different, and the fireworks will require sponsors to step up to meet expectations for the display. The city Fourth of July Committee is gearing up for its fundraising drive for this year's city fireworks spectacular, scheduled for 10 p.m. July 2 at Clarke Hinkle Field.

Organizers are hoping this year's show will be similar to those of Independence Day past celebrations in the Gem City, according to R.J. Stewart, vice president of the Toronto Fourth of July Committee.

Stewart has said this year's display will include a generous portion of music by celebrated American songwriter John Philip Sousa, and Pyrotecnico again will be directing the fireworks. He's also said this year's theme for the show will be a salute to the nation's armed forces.

The committee needs about $22,000 for the year for the annual display, and Stewart has said $2,000 of that goes back to the community through a a donation to local Boy Scouts for cleaning up the field after the display. Stewart has said the committee also is looking for another organization to donate to this year's event through the sale of light-up toys such as glo-sticks. The committee once again will solicit businesses, individuals and organizations that have donated in the past, and the committee also is welcoming new donors as well, according to Stewart. Those who make significant donations also will obtain first-class seating for the display.

Mayor John Geddis, president of the Fourth of July Committee, has said the annual fireworks display and program are important because of the attention they bring to the city.

We agree with the mayor and Stewart that the fireworks display is without peer in the Ohio Valley, and it's all made possible by the generosity of the community. We share the committee's hope the display once again will dazzle the Tri-State Area and make Toronto the envy of local municipalities.

To donate, send a check payable to the Toronto Fourth of July Committee to P.O. Box 295, Toronto, OH 43964. For information, call the mayor's office at (740) 537-3743.

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