The Suburbanite
  • Portage Lakes fireworks funds urgently needed

  • If you make a donation for the very first time, I may add your comments in a future column. Send me an email describing why you donated this year in 50 words or less. The deadline is June 22.

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  • Dano Mundy and his gang of 21, those civic- minded souls from the Portage Lakes who work tirelessly each year to bring you the very best in July Fourth festivities, are at it again. But before they can commit to anything, they need your donations to assure another fireworks show will happen.
    Letters went out last month seeking donations from all who watch the show. Amounts as small as $25 are requested. Other suggested amounts are $50, $75 and $100 or more, but any amount will be graciously accepted. I don’t know anywhere you can go and be entertained with an antique and classic boat show, a nighttime Light Up The Lakes regatta, a daytime decorated boat parade, a sand castle building contest and a $50,000 firework display simulcast over FM radio station WONE, 97.5, for free like you can each year here at the lakes.
    Sadly, as badly as these funds are needed, some can’t contribute. Others do each year. And then there are those good-hearted souls who increase their donations from year to year. That helps to make up for those who can’t. In a letter to past donors, Mundy writes, “These events can become a reality through the generous donations we receive.”
    Mundy and his committee hope you are one of the residents supporting this project because of the enjoyment it provides and the pride it shows in our community.
    The deadline to donate is June 22, Mundy wrote, “to allow our committee time to finalize all contractual agreements necessary to put on a display of this magnitude.”
    Donation checks, which Mundy said are tax deductible, should be made out to the Portage Lakes Fireworks Association. Mail to P. O. Box 26923, Akron, Ohio 44319. Donations also can be dropped off at : Ayers Insurance Agency, 500 W. Turkeyfoot Lake Rd.; (Route 619); Cole Industries, 513 E. Turkeyfoot Lake Rd.; Dietz’s Landing, 401 W. Turkeyfoot Lake Rd.; Dusty’s Landing, 4760 Dusty’s Rd. or Dano’s Lakeside Pub, 3910 S. Main St. To make a donation online, visit www.portagelakes.com.
    You say you’d love to help, but you’re finding yourself a little short on funds this month? No problem. The group accepts Visa or MasterCard. By the time you get the bill, you can still pay it in one payment without being assessed any interest.
    I’ll even add an incentive. If you make a donation for the very first time, I may add your comments in a future column. Send me an email describing why you donated this year in 50 words or less. The deadline is June 22.
    If enough funds are raised, the activities will be scheduled as follows. The 37th annual Antique and Classic Boat Show, free to the public, will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 30, at the docks of the Olde Harbor Inn and Hook Line and Drinkers in the West Reservoir. On the evening of June 30, commencing at dusk, the annual Light Up The Lakes regatta will take place with judging from the docks of Dietz’s Landing.
    Page 2 of 2 - At 1 p.m. July 1, the 37th annual daytime boat parade will start at Kieffer Marine (formerly Leighton’s Boat House) on the East Reservoir and wind its way around the lakes ending at the new State Park swim area for the awarding of prizes. It’s an open theme, so use your imagination and creativity to decorate your boats. Prizes for the best-decorated boats will be awarded.
    Following the boat parade, the sand castle building contest will take place on the beach of new State Park beach with prizes awarded immediately thereafter.
    This celebration of freedom, as only the good and patriotic citizens of the Portage Lakes are used to holding, concludes with the launching of the largest privately funded firework extravaganza in the state of Ohio (and possibly east of the Mississippi River) from Mason’s Point (at the eastern tip of the State Park Beach). Bring along your portable radios and be sure to tune into WONE Radio, 97.5 on your FM dial for the simulcast music coordinated with the firework launching.
    And as you watch, know within you that your generous donation helped make it all possible as once again this nation and particularly these Portage Lakes continue a celebration started 37 years ago about the birth of a free nation. Then leave with a shiny glow in your heart and warm flush all over, knowing you helped.
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