Patty Mastronardi (L) and Bryan Milk, shown with wife Wendy, sold raffle tickets at the Kiwanis Car Show. Submitted
Each Fourth of July thousands of residents and visitors in our area have enjoyed a beautiful fireworks display. Young and old alike enjoy the top notch display which rivals fireworks anywhere else in Southwest Florida. Fourth of July festivities and fireworks are synonymous with American patriotism across the country. Each year it has gotten tougher to fund Marco’s fireworks. The City of Marco Island has done its share along with a number of island groups and associations which have also stepped up over the years to keep this traditional community-spirited event going. The Kiwanis funded the fireworks for several years until they were held responsible by a woman who twisted her ankle, next the Restaurant Association stepped up and funded the fireworks through a raffle which consisted of several dining give-aways. MICA has pitched in and more recently, the Chamber of Commerce pitched in to raise the funds.
New challenges are present each year in the daunting task to raise approximately $45,000 required to fund the fireworks show. Fundraising for this year’s fireworks has been tasked by the City of Marco to the Parks and Rec Department under the direction of Bryan Milk. “Although we have some money put aside for the fireworks and we have done whatever we could to shave the budget down, we are still in the process of doing what we can to raise funds to ensure the citizens of a quality show like they’re used to seeing.” Bryan pointed out a scooter raffle as just one way the Parks and Rec Department is helping raise funds. “GEM Cars and Zucchini Kids are sponsors and have donated a brand new scooter to raffle off on the Fourth of July. Tickets are $5 each for a chance to win the scooter. We have a few months to go and each week we are a little bit closer to the goal!” Anyone wishing to purchase a ticket or wishing to donate to the fireworks fund can contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 239/642-0575.