Freeport, Illinois — June 26, 2017 — As one committee member put it, “I grew up watching the BEST firework display in the area” they told us in an email. An amazing 4th of July celebration with events including a 3 On 3 Basketball Tournament, Chicken Dinners, Craft Vendors, Kids Games, Live Music, a Beer Garden and more.
Growing up they said the 4th of July was just something “we don’t go lightly on”.
For them, the 4th of July represented the community coming together and in their words, “that means businesses and individuals, to raise money for an event that celebrates our independence”.
When the story first broke of this years Fireworks, the total amount of money that had been raised was just a little over $200.00. The Fireworks cost $20,000. One of the committee leaders had a close family member get diagnosed with Cancer, so it turned their efforts of fundraising completely on its heels, understandably.
As of June 19th however the total, including $7,500 from the City of Freeport, was $18,457. As a result of such low funds raised initially, city council members were asked to fund part of the Fireworks this year, to which they voted yes. Today (June 26, 2017) the total is slightly over $20,300 raised altogether.
A tremendous Thank You is in order for all the people who helped make the 2017 Freeport Fireworks happen this year. If it weren’t for the amazing people listed below, there would not have been a Fireworks celebration in Freeport.
While not knowing how the city council and new Mayor would have voted if they had been presented with a request to pay the full amount, the city’s new City Manager Lowell Crow did suggest the city not pay the fee.
That said, below are the people who sat on this years Fireworks committee or helped organize the events this year. They are;
- Kyle Collin
- Chad Coleman
- Shaun Coleman
- Andrea Misek
- Dan Misek
- Roxanne Goodman
- Steve Cotherman
- Gary Simmons
- Ashley Downing
- Mike Koester
- and Michelle Marie
As far as who did what, Michelle Marie from Logan’s Bar & Grill told us that the duck race was suggested by Gary Simmons and is now being followed through and taken on by Kyle Collin (committee member) as well as the entire Logan’s crew who Michelle said, “has been a huge help in selling ducks”. (You can see the list of events, activities and ways to help here)
The pancake breakfast came from Dan & Andrea Misek (committee members) who organized the event and rounded up volunteers. The Go Fund Me page was an idea that Chad or Shaun Coleman suggested, Michelle told us.
The donation buckets were dropped off all over town by Ashley Downing, who also donated some of her free time to talk with businesses and make sure they allowed buckets in their businesses.
Andrea Misek and Roxanne Goodman (both committee members) have been going around town collecting money from the buckets.
While Michelle did tell us that she herself took on a lot of responsibility this year, she was quick to add that this is absolutely a committee effort. “Without the amazing team we have, we would be no where”, she said.
“Dan & Andrea Misek, Roxanne Goodman, Steve Cotherman have done a tremendous amount of work.”
When we asked how many hours they have spent on this years Fireworks, Michelle told us that the Fireworks Committee as a whole is putting in well over 40 hours a week collectively. That’s 40 “non paid hours” per week, for 11 people which is big a commitment to dedicate to a local event.
As for why, Michelle told us growing up in a community of 1,500 people in Stockton, Illinois and seeing that they were able to pull off one of the best 4th of July events in our area, Michelle said she certainly believed that a city of 25,000 people should be able to pull off something even better.
“I live in this town” she said. “My daughter is being raised in this town, I seen an opportunity for Freeport and decided I would reach out and help if I could.”
“I just keep saying in the committee meetings “think of how great this could be next year” we have raised SO MUCH, in such a little time!!!”
Michelle and the rest of the committee members aren’t the only one’s we need to thank either. Below is the list of all the people who donated their hard earned money to the event to make the fireworks happen this year. (This is updated to June 26, 2017)
The below list of people, along with those mentioned above, are who to thank for this years 2017 Freeport Fireworks.
- Eric Huenefeld
- Midland States Bank
- Computer Dynamics
- Community Donation Buckets (probably a few hundred more people to list here)
- Hughes Resources
- Bocker Automotive
- Sentry Insurance
- Stephenson County Democratic Party
- Bowen Carpet Dry
- Applebees Flapjack Fundraiser (probably another 25-50 people to list here)
- Christensen Home Realtors
- Deininger Floral
- Cindy Carter
- Freeport Fire Fighters Local 441
- FS Stephenson Service Company
- Moring Disposal
- Papa Murphy’s 10% Day (probably another 50-100 people to list here)
- US Bank
- The Morse Group
- Dental Connections
- Golden K. Kiwanis
- Culligan Water
- Logan’s 10% Day (probably another 100 people to list here)
- Ross Auto Glass
- McPherson Law Offices
- Cork Keg & Liquors
- Tender Loving Care Dr. Heitzman
- Rose Meadows Neighborhood
- Lauri Tormohlen
- Terry & Sally Brashaw
- Randy’s Electric
- Baumgartner Automotive
- Premier Plumbing
- Dale Schmid
- City of Freeport
- Black Diamond Music Studio
- Cherry Signs
- David Kentner
- Freeport Cycle & Machine
- Hiester Construction
- Stephanie Barton
- Trey Meile
- Bonnie Lange
- Rico’s Gourmet Food
- PHK Bicycles
Additions since we wrote the article:
- Janicke Professional Lawn Care
- Deleana Atz
- Reed Park Concession Stand
A more up to date list may be found here at the Go Fund Me page for the Fireworks here. The events planned for this years Fireworks are listed below in the flyer.