STUART, Fla. - Marc Brechbill is an accountant in Stuart. Recently, he saw the numbers weren't adding up when it came to finding the 50-thousand dollars needed to fund the city of Stuart's annual fireworks show.
"Depending upon the economy and things that are going on, it's always difficult to get those sponsors," said Brechbill.
At the Stuart Community Redevelopment Office, it also looked for a while as if the only fireworks show left in the county would disappear after decades. Other shows in Indiantown and Jensen Beach are no longer held.
"So we feel more of that pressure to make sure we have a great Fourth of July event taking place in our downtown," said Teresa Lamar-Sarno with the Stuart Community Redevelopment Agency.
In an effort to stop this last-minute fundraising year after year, the Star Spangled Stuart committee was set up. Its job is to set up long-range commitments for the fireworks from local businesses.
With a prime location right on the St. Lucie River, John Spoto of Spoto's Oyster Bar was one of the first to sign up.
"You have to have fireworks. It isn't Fourth of July without fireworks," said Spoto.
For this new restaurant, with plans to open a new downstairs bar on the Fourth, it also made good business sense.
"We're happy to help in whatever way we can. Thank goodness we can, we're excited," added Spoto.
Brechbill said what happened in the past was a few business ended up footing the entire bill. Getting 20 businesses to commit to a 25-hundred dollar donation still wasn't easy, but it was manageable.
"We knew we had a lot of people in town who didn't want to see the fireworks go away. And once the fireworks go away they tend to go away forever," said Brechbill.
So when thousands congregate downtown next week and look up, they'll be treated to the city's largest fireworks display ever.
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