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Fourth of July fund nears $40K

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With charity concert lineup set, fireworks display to be the largest in state

BANGOR Area companies and individuals stepped up heavily and contributed over $11,000 last week, leaving just $9,300 to go to reach this year's fundraising goal with just two weeks left before the annual Independence Day parade and fireworks celebration.

According to Tony Bernatche, chair of the nonprofit 4th of July Corporation, this year's goal was set at $49,000 to fund both the day's parade and fireworks, the latter of which is the largest expense of the day's celebration, and rebuild the organization after it suffered an embezzlement last year by its treasurer.

Last year's fireworks display was the largest in the state, but Bernatche said this year's promises to be even larger. Although the amount of shells are increasing through a generous donation of $5,000 of fireworks by Central Maine Pyrotechnics, the company contracted to put on the display, the duration of the show will be a bit shorter in response to feedback from last year's show.

'We're doubling the amount of technicians to light the fireworks so they'll be going off more rapidly,' he said. 'The show should last about 30 minutes.

In addition to the parade and fireworks, the day will also feature activities for children and a concert beginning at 2 p.m.

'We're really excited about the entire day this year,' Bernatche said. 'We have something gong on for the family all day long.'

According to Doug Damon, parade chair for the organization, the parade that runs from Brewer to Bangor will not be hampered by the repair work currently being done on the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge. Work began on the bridge over a month ago and is scheduled to last all summer.

'If all goes as planned, there will be no impact and we'll have half the bridge going across,' he said.

In addition, he's anticipating more than 1,200 participants in this year's parade and said the grand marshals this year will be George Hale and George Gonyar. Damon said both were overwhelmingly selected by the five area Kiwanis clubs due their longstanding broadcasting careers.

'They really shaped television in this area,' he said. 'With our theme of A Blast From The Past,' they are recognized by everyone because of their development of television in this area. They made television a part of our everyday life.'

Hale and Gonyar worked together at WABI for many years, and the station itself is celebrating its 60th year.

While the bridge will be available for the parade, Damon said it will not be available for the fireworks display, the first time in years that the popular spot to view the display will not be used.

Also announced Monday was the lineup for the July 4 Chords for the Cure IX charity concert set for the Darling's Waterfront Pavilion. Headlined by The Stone Doctors, a Rolling Stones tribute band comprised of professionals from around the region, additional acts slated to perform include popular area musician Chris Ross, and local groups Eric Green Party, Juicebox and 161. The concert will be preceded by a boat parade on the Penobscot. 

Admission will be $5 for adults and $3 for children, with all the proceeds benefiting The 4th of July Corporation, the Raish Peavy Haskell Paediatric Oncology Center at CCOM, and Sarah's House of Maine in Holden. In addition, volunteers will be manning a bucket brigade to collect donations to defray the day's expenses and raise funds for the respective charities.

Editor's Note:

To help the 4th of July Corporation reach their goal of $49,000 for this year's event, those business and individuals who make a donation will be listed each week in The Maine Edge. To make a contribution to this wonderful community event, send your check or money order payable to the 4th of July Corporation, C/O The Maine Edge, P.O. Box 2639, Bangor, ME, 04402-2639.

Complete list of donors as of June 19:

  • Awards, Signage & Trophies - $25
  • Marla Saliba - $25
  • Sweet Stuff Fine Chocolates - $25
  • Bagel Central - $125
  • Bangor Savings Bank - $125
  • Brogue Insurance & Financial Services - $125
  • Day's Inn Hotel of Bangor - $125
  • Econo Lodge Inn & Suites - $125 
  • Goldstar Cleaners - $125
  • Hero's Sports Grille - $125
  • Lane Construction - $125
  • NH Bragg - $125
  • Quality Inn Bangor Mall - $125
  • Bernatche Autobody - $250
  • Bob Dalton Team/Realty of Maine - $250
  • Central Maine Wireless - $250
  • Links Online Marketing - $250
  • Meadowbrook Ridge LLC - $250
  • Penobscot Cleaning Service - $250
  • RentBangor.COM - $250 
  • Rudman Winchell - $250
  • Sutherland Weston Marketing Comm. - $250
  • WBRC Architects/Engineers - $250
  •  Brewer Motor Inn - $500
  • Cornwell Tools - $500
  • Oxford Networks - $500
  • Bangor Breakfast Kiwanis - $1,000
  • Bangor Kiwanis - $1,000
  • Brewer Kiwanis Club - $1,000
  • Orono Old Town Kiwanis - $1,000
  • Van Syckle Kia/Suzuki - $1,000
  • City of Brewer - $2,000
  • C&L Aerospace - $2,500
  • Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway - $2,500
  • City of Bangor - $5,000
  • Quirk Auto Group - $5,000
  • WABI TV 5 /The CW - $5,000
  • Bangor Federal Credit Union - $7,500

Total raised thus far: $39,825

Needed to reach goal: $  9,175

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