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updated: 12/3/2012 9:01 PM

Roselle still hopeful it can save fireworks show

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With nearly $5,000 already collected in a campaign to save Roselle's Fourth of July fireworks, village officials say they remain hopeful they can meet a March 15 goal of $15,000 to secure a vendor.

"Being the first time we've tried anything like this, we don't have anything to compare it to, so we are happy with the fundraising we've done so far," spokeswoman Melissa Brito said.

The campaign, dubbed "Get a Bang for Your Buck," was launched in late September and aims to raise a total of $25,000 to cover the cost of a fireworks display for 2013.

Officials established two fundraising goals: $15,000 by March 15 to secure a vendor and $25,000 by June 26 for the final fireworks contract.

So far, the village has raised almost $4,800. Brito said the funds have come from a variety of residents and groups, including an individual who gave $1,000 and a Girl Scout troop that volunteered to raise money.

Village officials think their goal is realistic, since the $25,000 would come easily if every one of Roselle's nearly 23,000 residents donated just $1 or $2.

Brito said they've spread word though the website, village newsletters and word-of-mouth, but are not targeting individual donors or businesses.

And the village plans to increase that publicity after the holidays, she said.

If the $15,000 goal is not met by the deadline, the fireworks display will be canceled and the money will be used toward a 2014 fireworks donation campaign.

And if subsequent fundraising goals are not met for the 2014 fireworks, the display will be canceled and collected money will be used to form a special events commission charged with planning special events, such as the National Night Out Against Crime.

Roselle launched "Get a Bang for Your Buck" because the village has faced a budget shortfall for several years. Officials say the deficit is due to flat property and sales tax revenues and late reimbursements from the state.

Village leaders have taken several measures to curb spending and generate revenue in recent years, including layoffs, consolidating Roselle's 911 dispatch center, and hiring a consultant to try attracting more business to the village.

As a result, Roselle trimmed its general fund shortfall from nearly $1 million three years ago to $56,000 for its newest budget, but money for fireworks is still elusive.

The village did not have money for fireworks in 2010 or 2011, either, and officials canceled the display. But both years, community groups such as the Roselle Chamber of Commerce and area businesses came to the rescue with donations, saving the displays.

This year, however, the village could not secure a sponsor.

Donations are being accepted in person, by mail and online. Donors can visit to make a credit card payment (convenience charges apply), to download a coupon to be included with check or cash donations, and to track campaign donation progress.

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