Posted: Friday, May 30, 2014 12:38 pm
by Alessandra Selgi-Harrigan
For the past few weeks the organization I Heart IB has been working hard to collect donations to bring back the fireworks to the IB pier this Fourth of July.
Their work paid off at last Wednesday’s City Council meeting when the council members approved the group’s fund raising efforts. To help IB get fireworks on the Fourth, a motion was approved by the council for the city to pay for services including port permits, sheriff services and port-a-potties - an amount estimated at $25,000. I Heart IB hopes to raise the remainder $25,000 needed to bring the fireworks back. So far $13,184 had been raised. The group also has gathered over 2,000 signatures.
“The group has been showing us due diligence to go forward. Personally they have done a fantastic job,” said Mayor Jim Janney. He also recommended the city be the signer of the contract for the fireworks. Fire Chief Tom Clark explained that the current IB water resource board permit is good for five years and the fireworks would fall under that permit. It was pointed out that the port district charges a $1,000 entry fee. Janney said that the city did not want to jeopardize the fireworks over $1,000 and the city will cover that amount if necessary.
During the city council meeting Candy Unger, co-founder of I Heart IB, addressed the council and explained that the group already has the $12,500 needed for payment to the fireworks company. She explained funds will be raised through 60 donation cans placed at different businesses around town, T-shirt sales of an old IB logo that reads A Whale of A City, and street teams where residents knock on neighbors’ doors asking for donations. Unger also passed donations cans to city council members. Unger added that an agreement will be reached with businesses on the pier.
Unger and her husband Tim O’Neal founded I Heart IB. O’Neal’s grandfather George Wright has been an inspiration to the organization. Wright formed a group in IB in the 1970s called the Whalers and their logo was “A Whale of A City.” He also raised $3,000, the amount needed for Fourth of July fireworks off the pier in the ‘70s.
Unger explained the Fourth of July fireworks have been present on and off over the years in IB. “We used to have two firework shows, one on the Fourth and the other during Sandcastle,” she said adding they both stopped.
Unger urges everyone to make donations of any amount at the following locations where the Bring Back the Boom cans have been dropped off: IB Chamber of Commerce, IB Farmers Market info booth, IB Liquor, Seaside Candy, Sombreros, 7 Eleven Palm Avenue and Seventh, 7 Eleven Palm Avenue and 13th Street, Market to Market, IB Police Station, City Hall, San Diego E-Vapors, Ye Ol Plank Inn, the Scoreboard, The Bullpen, VFW, The Women’s Club, IB Little League and IB Girls Softball concession stand, South Bay Union School District office, Circle H Liquor, Filippi’s, The Fleet Reserve, Katy’s Café, Salty Frog, Mercado Shores, Seacoast Gyro and with any council member.