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Beloit fireworks show still fundraising 2 weeks out

By Margo Spann, mspann@wisctv.com
Published On: Jun 20 2013 07:52:41 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 20 2013 08:25:03 PM CDT

Vicki Stone, Fireworks Committee Member

BELOIT, Wis. -

The Fourth of July is about two weeks away, but organizers of the annual Pops on the Rock in Beloit said without donations, their fireworks show may not get off the ground.

They're already locked into a contract with the company that produces the fireworks show, but the $5,000 they're short this year could put future shows in jeopardy.

One day a year the sparkling Rock River is outshined by fireworks and orchestra music at Beloit’s annual Pops on the Rock.

"Everyone has a special place. They have a favorite place to watch the fireworks," said Vicki Stone, Fireworks Committee ,member.

The fireworks alone cost $15,000.

"We're doing advertising and promotions to ask the public and the greater Beloit community to help us out," said Stone.

A company out of Indiana has been booked to do the show since April.

Dr. Robert Tomaro, musical director for the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra, said people look forward to the traditional, patriotic, family-friendly event at Riverside Park.

"It's thrilling for some reason. You hear that music. You see the fireworks going off. It's just a thrilling, thrilling event," said Tomaro.

The more than 50-person orchestra provides the soundtrack to the scene in the sky.

The Orchestra’s Executive Director, Michael Krueger, said they are also having financial trouble.

With three free events in July, beginning with the Fourth concerts in Janesville, Beloit and then the Rock County Fair, Krueger said they won't have enough money to pay their musicians.

"Between what we pay the musicians and getting through the month -- so we're looking to raise about $3,500,” said Krueger.

The Fireworks Committee remains optimistic it'll get the money it needs before the big show, but organizers admit they are cutting it pretty close this year.

"We think we can do it. Our community pulls together and they always come up and we always make it, so we think our community can do it," said Stone.

Since they're already contracted for this year, the show will go on. But if they can’t raise the money, they'll start the next fundraising cycle in debt -- meaning they'll have to pay off the balance of this year's show before they can book next year's show.

If you'd like to make a donation to the Fireworks Fund, send checks to the Stateline Community Foundation, 121 W. Grand Ave., Beloit, WI 53511. Please write "2013 Fireworks Fund" in the memo line.

If you'd like to make a donation to help the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra, visit its website www.beloitjanesvillesymphony.org

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