No bang without the bucks

More than $5,000 of public money is unaccounted for, and Grand Haven's July 4 fireworks show could fizzle unless benefactors swoop in with last-minute donations.
May 21, 2013


Here’s the breakdown: The City of Grand Haven, as part of a contractual agreement to get fireworks in the air, wrote a check to the local Jaycees club for $10,000 for the 2012 show. The city also allowed the club to rent out city public marina slips to help support the fireworks. That brought in more than $3,000. Then, of course, local residents often contribute small donations for the fireworks show.

So, at a minimum, $13,000 should have gone to the $22,000 fireworks show. So, why then did the fireworks company only get $8,000 from the Jaycees? Why did the Jaycees only have $2,000 in its bank account when there should have been well north of $5,000?

The lady in charge of the bank accounts for the Jaycees has since moved out of the area, and the new Jaycees treasurer said he’s trying to figure it all out, but it could have been “lost somewhere in the rounding of the math.”

This explanation doesn’t hit the mark.

Let us all hope that red, white and blue fireworks will again burst in the sky this July 4 thanks to our many generous residents and businesses. The city has pledged $10,000 to make this year’s show happen, and the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation has chipped in another $6,000. Those pledges leave just $6,000 for our community to kick in to make the night sky light up in patriotic fashion.

There is little doubt that the show must go on. Because, without assurances of such a show, the Tri-Cities area would surely lose the important patronage of many tourists and visitors. These hordes of visitors spend money in shops and restaurants, and celebrate in downtown Grand Haven each year. This event brings in the bucks, and is a tradition, in the Tri-Cities.

It would be shameful if this great event were shelved because of the Jaycees’ messy handoff. Worst of all, Grand Haven will have its good name besmirched by a situation that could have been avoided.

Explain, Jaycees, what happened in 2012, and be a part of the fundraising solution for this year’s show. You owe it to the public trust.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



I can live without fireworks. I'm outa money and working on a lousy temp service. cut the phone land line, cut X-box live, cut out paying for medications, cut going out to eat, cut out all charitable giving, cut out all birthday and Christmas gifts, turned down all wedding invitations because the gifts are an added expense, cut all magazine and other subscriptions. Have to keep my cable internet because thats the only way to find a job with benefits. Don't change the oil in car anymore. Bought some real cheap $50.00 per year car insurance off the internet. Found a way to put industrial gel into my tires so I don't need air anymore and now I can run them down to the steel cords. Car runs on one working brake line to the back wheel. Can't afford a brake job so cut that. So the schools and the city/county will just have make cuts like the rest of us.

Just a Thought

I completely agree, not to mention it says "the public's money"... So, WHERE did our money for fireworks go? We already paid money in for the show, we should not have to now make donations for it to happen. Ridiculous... zwesterhouse: Curious, where did you get the online insurance? I've been looking and looking and keep getting dead end pages to quotes that don't exist or don't offer the promised $19 a month car insurance! Please help me so I too may save. :O)


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