Celebrating America’s birthday with a bang!
“Scripps Mesa Fireworks was incorporated in 1997,” explained Michael Spencer, president of Scripps Mesa Fireworks. “Originally, Mira Mesa handled the fireworks. It branched off to become a 501(c)(3) charity allowing individuals to make tax deductible donations.”
The effort is intended to be a collaboration between the Scripps Ranch community and Mira Mesa. Spencer took over as president in 2017 and was challenged with the task of raising $35,000 to keep the sky lit up on the Fourth.
“Every cent goes toward the event,” Spencer said. “The money we raise covers everything we need to do in order to launch the fireworks over Mira Mesa High School on the Fourth of July.”
In addition to nearly $11,000 coming from various fundraisers, the event gets financial support from local businesses as well. The event is free, and to produce it is a labor of love from the community and the volunteers. However, it wouldn’t take much to underwrite the show for years if residents would all put a buck in the tip jar.
“If we could get every person who lives in the Mira Mesa/Scripps Ranch area to donate just a dollar, the fireworks would be funded for about three years,” Spencer said. “This year’s show is almost 90 percent funded, so we are still looking for last-minute donations; but the show will go on as scheduled.”
Spencer and his team of volunteers will start working on the 2019 fireworks show the minute this year’s last firework fades into the evening sky. Even as throngs of spectators try to remember where they parked their cars, volunteers will be passing the hat for next years display.
“Basically, on July 4th at approximately 9:25 p.m., we begin fundraising for next year’s show,” Spencer said. “To raise money, we participate in the Mira Mesa Street Fair, the D6 Night Market, which is an event for the folks that live in District 6. We also have a presence at the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market in addition to the (Scripps Ranch) Community Fair. We want to remind everyone that your neighbors, coworkers and friends put on these fireworks; it isn’t some faceless city organization.”
“The littlest donation means the world to us,” said volunteer Barbara Retsky. “Nothing is too small. We have a giant firecracker that people can stuff money into, even pocket change means the world to us.: