by Jim Boyle
The Elk River community is hungry for an Independence Day celebration and another spectacular fireworks show, judging by the turnout at this past Sunday’s pancake breakfast and fund raiser.
The Elk River Independence Day Committee, with the help of several community groups, served 250 people and cleared $1,874 after expenses were paid.
That pushed the group’s fund-raising efforts past the $10,000 mark that day and nearly another $2,000 came in this past week, leaving the group about $3,000 shy of its goal to purchase a $15,000 fireworks show like it did last year.
The group will soon have to place its fireworks order, so members of the citizen-led committee are making its final pushes.
The size of the show will be determined by how much citizens, community organizations and the business community contribute.
Donations from businesses started to roll in last week and they continue to come in to the Star News office, where they are being collected before being deposited into the Elk River American Legion’s Coffee Account.
Committee members reported hearing lots of positive comments at this past weekend’s pancake breakfast about last year’s event and fireworks show at Lions Park in Elk River. Many also talked about the importance of the holiday and were happy to see various groups working together.
Mike Beyer, the vice commander of the Legion, and the Sons of the American Legion prepared the breakfast.
The Sons organization also contributed an amount to cover half of the expenses of the meal. These are the same folks that put on Friday night dinners at the Elk River American Legion.
Boy Scouts from Troop 111 helped out in the kitchen and dining area, and members DECA, an association of marketing students at Elk River High School, helped in the dining area and by putting flyers on cars in local church parking lots.
The Harley Owners Group made a splash, showing up dressed in green for a ride they were heading out on to the New London-Spicer area. About two dozen motorcyclists ate breakfast before heading out.
Elk River Mayor John Dietz was one of the first to come to the breakfast to show his support of the event.
The Eagles Club is also planning a fund raiser again this year. (Watch for more details.) That group raised $900 last year.
There are also donation bins out at some local banks and restaurants.