LAHAINA - LahainaTown Action Committee members plan to approach Lahaina businesses soon, seeking donations for the town's Fourth of July celebration and fireworks.
After taking coordination of the popular event back from the Maui Chamber of Commerce this year, LAC appointed Fran Mitsumura, Connie Sutherland, Becky Lennon, Jill Holley and Joan McKelvey to raise $46,000 for the 2014 Independence Day fireworks show.
The committee hopes to grow donations from Front Street restaurants and the boating community, which celebrate the Fourth of July and benefit from the event.
"Although Maui County is the primary sponsor of the event, the event still requires merchant assistance to cover the majority of the cost to produce the event," Holley said.
"The nice thing about the event is that it is very popular with an expected attendance of 10,000 to 20,000. I believe the merchants that help make the event possible will have a great economic bump for the event while making sure Maui residents and visitors enjoy a wonderful Fourth of July celebration. All donations will be included in our marketing efforts."
Lahaina's Fourth of July celebration has become one of the island's biggest events.
"Lahaina Town hosts an old town-fashioned Independence Day celebration with family activities all afternoon, a street closing... plus boat special events, concert in the park, prime restaurant seating, community food booths, live music and, of course, fabulous fireworks display over the ocean at 8 p.m.," Holley explained.
"The event drives local traffic to the Lahaina area, along with the visitors who are in search of a patriotic celebration."
The annual Fourth of July fireworks show began under the LahainaTown Action Committee. A number of organizations - including the Maui Chamber of Commerce -stepped up to continue it while LAC regrouped and strengthened its organization in recent years.
Chamber President Pamela Tumpap recently stated, "We were asked to take on this event at a time when the annual Fourth of July Fireworks in Lahaina event could have been lost, as no organization was able to carry it forward at that time. As it is such an important economic and social event for the Maui community, we agreed to step up to the plate to keep it alive. It has been an honor to work on this event and hold successful and growing Fourth of July Fireworks in Lahaina celebrations for the past four years.
"However, today, the originating organization, the LahainaTown Action Committee, is strong and ready to take it back on. It is time to hand the baton over and let them run with it again, which also creates cost savings in insurance and other expenses, given all the other events they currently plan and hold."
LAC Executive Director Lynn Donovan said, "We are very proud of what LahainaTown Action Committee has accomplished over the last four years and happy to regain our Fourth of July in Lahaina event."