Fourth of July Fireworks Saved by Fairfax Hospital, community support still needed

Local hospital donates funds to save Kirkland's Fourth of July fireworks

On Tuesday night when the Kirkland City Council met at their regular meeting, they were braced for bad news: they knew there was not enough money had been donated to fund Kirkland's annual Fourth of July fireworks display. Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Bruce Wynn and Kirkland Downtown Association President, Vince Isaacson spoke before the council to alert them that sponsorships and donations to fund the event were $13,000 shy of the $60,000 cost. Following a brief discussion, the council expressed a desire to support the Independence Day event to the tune of $7,000 at their next meeting. City funding, if approved, would leave the event about $6,000 short with just under four weeks until July 4th.

The Celebrate Kirkland team has been working tirelessly to gather donations and seek sponsorships from local businesses to fund the Fourth of July -- our city's signature event. The extended economic downturn which grips our region has taken its toll on the funding of local events as residents and businesses continue to tighten their belts.

Shortly after eight o'clock in the evening a generous gift was offered to the Kirkland community. Following a special presentation to thank the Police Department for their service, Kirkland's Fairfax Hospital CEO Ron Escarda made a surprise announcement. Mr. Escarda told the council that Fairfax Hospital would make up the shortfall for Fourth of July fireworks after the city approves its contribution. The level of thanks for this generous gesture was evidenced by the expressions on the faces of the council members most familiar with this event.

As big fans of Kirkland's annual fireworks display, we say three cheers for Fairfax Hospital! Thank you, Fairfax, for saving Kirkland's Fourth of July fireworks!

We also want to thank the city council, and all of the sponsors and donators who stepped up to support this most special of city-wide celebrations.

If you support Kirkland's Fourth of July fireworks, please consider donating at CelebrateKirkland.org

The following letter in support of the Fourth of July is from the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce:

Celebrate Kirkland – July 4th: Needs your help

For 13 years the start of Summer in Kirkland has been marked by our fabulous 4th of July Celebration. It is a celebration that helps to define us as the funky hometown city that most of us know and love. From the beginning of the day when thousands of kids with their moms, dads, grandparents and every household critter gather in Marina Park to decorate their bikes, wagons and selves, to the two parades, the picnic in the park with vendors, food and music, to the grand finale, our own fantastic fireworks display, it is a day we revel in our own community. Our church communities, school communities, our boy scouts, girl scouts, ball teams, business and neighborhood communities celebrate this holiday together in the parade or on the curbside, on the beach or in clusters of family and friends from our parks and balconies watching the fireworks fade away.

This year, more than any previous year, fundraising has been extremely difficult. We have raised $41K of the $61K necessary to put on the 4th. We will be able to proceed with the Parade, thanks largely to our main parade sponsor, Lee Johnson Auto Family. But we remain $20K short of the necessary funding for the Fireworks.

With 4 weeks to go, it will take an enormous effort to pull this off. Beyond Lee Johnson Auto Family, we have received sponsorship support from local businesses like Overlake Oil, Waste Management, The Heathman Hotel, Astronics in Totem Lake, Touchstone, the Woodmark Hotel, and Google along with individual contributions from many Kirklanders. . With all this business support we still are far away from what we need to produce the fireworks that everyone expects and looks forward to. We need your support!

We hope you can help keep our celebration alive. Spread the word! Help us find a way to save our 4th of July. Please donate at the website: http://www.celebratekirkland.org/ or contact us at info@celebratekirkland.org or 425-686-0164 or contact the Chamber or KDA office at 425-822-7066