Legion serves up fireworks funds

by Jim Boyle

Busy schedules and untimely thunderstorms put a damper on this past Saturday’s spaghetti dinner fireworks fundraiser, but didn’t prevent the event from clearing a profit, according to Mike Beyer of the Elk River American Legion.

Bryan Lugert and Dan Leistico from the the Elk River American Legion were among those to serve. Photo by Kara Stritesky

The dinner was sponsored by the Elk River Independence Day 2012 Committee and hosted by the Legion. It made $442 after expenses and with a donation of $302 from the American Legion there will be a $744 contribution made to this year’s fireworks show.

The local American Legion and VFW manned the kitchen under the guidance of Rich Lavine and Mike Leistico.  Some Fourth of July committee members, business leaders and the National Honor Society students helped work the front of the house.

Elaine Hadley with husband Bill re-enact a little “Lady and the Tramp” scene.

“We still had a great time and were able to visit with various people in our community,” Beyer said. “I would like especially thank the National Honor Society for the last-minute marketing it did just before the event started.”

Beyer also thanked Elk River Meats for providing the hamburger and sausage for the spaghetti sauce as well as Costco and Coborn’s for their cut-rate deals.

This year’s event will be Wednesday, July 4, at Lions Park in Elk River.

Emily Lewis, Chelsey Petrich, Claire Mastel and Kayla Feige from the Elk River National Honor Society stop for a break to eat some spaghetti.

The Elk River Independence Day Committee agreed to have another spaghetti dinner for next year’s Fourth of July fireworks fund drive, perhaps on a weekday night in the winter or early spring.

Deb Urista and Tanna Anderson, members of the committee, seconded the motion, which was approved unanimously.

Meanwhile, other fundraisers are being planned in the community in hopes of putting on another $15,000 fireworks show.

The size of the show depends on how much the community contributes to the fireworks fund drive.

One fundraiser is a tip night at Pizza Ranch in Elk River on Monday, July 2.

Donation containers will start popping up around the community at area businesses, too.

Terri Klema loves Parmesan cheese on her spaghetti.

Letters went out to businesses and community organizations this past week seeking contributions again from the community.

The Elk River Economic Development Authority jump-started the fund drive recently with its decision to contribute $6,000 for fireworks.

The city of Elk River, with the support of the Elk River City Council, has historically covered the baseline event expenses like police coverage and program expenses including, but not limited to, portable bathrooms and garbage containers.