Kiwanis fireworks brighten another Fourth

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By Carol A. Clark

This year’s sparkling Fourth of July extravaganza adds to the more than three decades the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos has delivered its popular fireworks show to the community.

“We had more than 5,000 people attend and that has been the average for the last three years,” said Kiwanis treasurer and immediate past president Rick Reiss. “Our gate proceeds were about $25,000 of which $15,000 goes to pay for the fireworks, $2,000 for hardware, $700 for the generator and there are other miscellaneous expenses. That leaves us with between $5,000-$7,000 for our charities.”

Kiwanis charities include youth scholarships and sponsorships, Breakfast with Santa, foster kids support, Little League, a new born program in which the club provides safety items such as smoke detectors to new mothers in the hospital as well as other projects and programs, he said during an interview Monday.

“Everyone’s participation is appreciated,” Reiss said. “Not only are we able to provide a great community event, but it allows us to support our many charities with these generous donations.”

The evening show included in excess of 2,000 fireworks shells during the hour-long display at Overlook Park.

Aside from a small fire during the Kiwanis show, which Los Alamos Fire Marshall Mike Thompson said is normal and was doused immediately, no fires were reported within the county. Thompson praised the community for being careful in shooting off individual fireworks.

While there were no neighborhood fires July 4, there were a number of people burned by personal firecrackers. Emergency Room Director Vicki Davy of Los Alamos Medical Center reported a “minimal number” of burn injuries were treated Friday evening and Saturday.

Now that the Fourth has passed, Thompson is asking the community to take care through the remainder of the summer with campfires.

“Right now we are in the camping season and we’ve already had one unattended campfire that we had to put out,” he said. “We want to remind everyone never to leave a campfire unattended and to make absolutely sure all embers are out before leaving the area.”

Thompson explained that the current thunderstorms in the county create down drafts that build up excessive wind that can fan embers or send a small fire out of control in little time.

“We urge everyone to take extra precautions in any activities involving fire,” he said.

During Friday’s annual Independence Day activities at Overlook Park, Peace Meal, Community Winds and the Hill Stompers performed musical numbers for the crowd that also was treated to jolly jumpers for the kids, food vendors and a flyover by Will Fox.

The local Kiwanis Club is a member of Kiwanis International, a worldwide service organization with more than 350,000 members in more than 81 countries.

For information, access www.vla.com/kiwanis.