July 4th celebration provides boost for Lahaina merchants
LAHAINA — The tenth annual Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration in Lahaina Town was a huge success, according to Pamela Tumpap, president of the Maui Chamber of Commerce. Big crowds crowded businesses, with long lines at restaurants and ice cream parlors.
“It was truly a spectacular night, and we want to again thank the contributing businesses and community for making it happen,” she said.
“It was not only an amazing day for social interaction. The economic impact to West Maui businesses is tremendous.”
Tumpap said residents and merchants appreciated the event, which was coordinated by the Maui Chamber of Commerce (MCOC) and funded with donations.
“Many businesses thanked us, reporting that it was their best night in many months, if not the year. Residents also stopped by the chamber’s booth to say thank you and shake our hands,” Tumpap said.
“Additionally, visitors who had read recent articles about the fund-raising efforts shared their gratitude, with many new and returning guests expressing sheer joy to participate in a fireworks celebration in beautiful Lahaina, Maui. All indicated they would love to come back for the event again next year, and many committed to being here, especially time share owners who indicated that their time on Maui means the world to them and they would not miss this event.”
Fund-raising efforts continued down to the last minute and were short of the goal.
As MCOC celebrated its centennial and gave away hundreds of prizes at its booth, members also sold commemorative event T-shirts to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Fourth of July Fireworks in Lahaina, as well as water to raise funds for next year’s event.
Some T-shirts are still available; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 244-0081 for information. Orders can be taken with an additional charge for shipping and mailed.
Several hundred dollars were raised on July 4 for next year’s fireworks show. Tumpap said it will be a tougher haul in 2011, because $16,200 was left over from 2009 to begin this year’s fund-raising efforts.
Some residents and visitors made donations for the 2011 fireworks that night, and MCOC learned that two restaurants that hadn’t donated to the celebration held fund-raisers on Independence Day to contribute.
“Many community groups also said that they want to be involved and we welcome their participation. This is a community event, by the community for the community and our guests. We see a true pride and feeling of ownership as more get involved and help raise funds,” Tumpap said.
“The good news is that it has been done for so long that we know what it costs to cover the event expenses: $45,000 to $48,000. That pays for the fireworks — the lion’s share of the budget at $30,000 — and addresses permits, police officers, trash handling, communications, event coordination, etc. So, we are again setting a fund-raising goal of $48,000 next year. If we fall short, then we will have to make cuts or increase donations, as we did this year. If we raise more than that, just imagine all the amazing things we can include.
“The best part is, it is up to us. However, it begins with ensuring we have the funds for the fireworks. After all, you cannot have an annual fireworks celebration without them.”
Tumpap thanked the Maui County Planning Department for assisting with permits; Maui Police Department for permit assistance and help that day; LahainaTown Action Committee for help and use of resources; The Wharf Cinema Center for assisting with the banner and fund-raising; event founder Theo Morrison for assistance; Lahaina Rotary Club and Arts Education for Children Group for the community concert; Hard Rock Café and Q103 for the Fireworks Countdown; Hawaii Explosives & Pyrotechnics for the fireworks display; Lahaina Town for hosting the event; MCOC’s West Side Committee, board and staff for fund-raising, planning and coordination; and the donors who made it possible.
Tumpap asked businesses and community groups that want to be involved to contact the chamber. Pledges, business and group fund-raising, resource support and volunteers are sought.
“Together we have saved the annual Fourth of July Fireworks in Lahaina Celebration, and together we will make it an even better event each year,” she said.
“Maui is a blessed place, and we are graced to be a part of a wonderful community who comes together to make events like this happen. It is truly inspiring. Mahalo and congratulations to all who generously gave of their time and resources to make this year’s Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration in Lahaina a successful event.”