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Six nonprofit groups selected to sell fireworks in Lodi

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Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 2:27 pm, Tue Jun 7, 2011.

About 20 leaders of local nonprofit groups watched 10-year-old Kaitlin Newport grab ping-pong balls from a Bingo hopper on Thursday in Carnegie Forum.

Through this small, random act, nonprofit leaders either received a new revenue stream that will net them thousands of dollars, or left empty-handed.

The city used the lottery system to select six of the 47 nonprofits that applied to sell fireworks around the Fourth of July.

The six nonprofits were picked in the following order:

  • Lodi/Tokay Rotary Club, a community service club.
  • Share Homes Family Services, an organization providing foster, adoption and counseling services.
  • Pregnancy Resource Center, an organization assisting women who are pregnant.
  • Lodi Mexican-American Lions Club, a community service club.
  • Lodi Sunrise Rotary, a community service club.
  • LOEL Center and Gardens, an organization offering free and low-cost services for seniors.

The city also picked two alternates: the Downtown Lodi Business Partnership, an organization promoting Downtown, and the American Legion, a veteran service organization.

It is likely that the DLBP will get one of the alternate spots because the Rotary clubs might decide to combine and run only one booth, said Steve Reeves, Lodi Sunrise Rotary Club president.

He said the chances of both clubs being pulled is about one in 64, and the clubs never discussed what would happen if they both were selected.

After the sixth ball was drawn, a disappointed groan came from several of the people whose groups were not selected, while Tracy Williams, president and CEO of the LOEL Center, clapped quietly.

She was hoping that LOEL would be picked because the center is working on bringing a Meals On Wheels program back in house, and could use the money. She said the selection process was nerve-wracking.

"I'm just shocked. It was fun until they started pulling balls. That was crazy," she said.

Even if her organization wasn't selected, she said the system was fair and gave all the nonprofits a shot.

Earlier this month, the Lodi City Council approved the sale and use of state-approved "safe and sane" fireworks in the city limits, which includes spinners; handheld items like sparklers, cone fountains, base fountains, box or tube fountains; novelties; and smoke items.

Illegal fireworks are essentially defined as anything that shoots into the air. Illegal items include firecrackers, sky rockets, bottle rockets, Roman candles, mortars, cherry bombs and helicopters.

Lodi will allow nonprofits to sell the state-approved fireworks from noon to 9 p.m. on June 28, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from June 29 to July 4. Residents will also be able to set off fireworks during those same time periods, and also from 9 to 11 p.m. from June 29 to July 4.

The city drew alternates in case any of the nonprofits backed out or did not meet the requirements. Members of the organizations need to take a safety class, and will hand out fliers on what fireworks are illegal and legal with every purchase.

The required fees for the nonprofits selected include a non-refundable $300 inspection fee and a $1,000 security deposit that is refundable.

To see the full list of nonprofits that applied, go to the City Buzz blog at www.lodinews.com/blogs/city_buzz.

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  • Jackson Scott posted at 8:55 pm on Fri, May 13, 2011.

    Jackson Scott Posts: 381

    Let's face it, the LDBP is not a true non-profit, a 501c. According to their website they are incorporated as a "Calif Non-Profit Mutal Benefit Corporation." What the heck that means I have no idea.

    The fact is that the City of Lodi already funds this group with taxpayer money. So why should they get the opportunity to have a fireworks booth? The American Legion group should be the 1st alternate.

    I can see it now, the merchants are going to have to leave their businesses to man the fireworks booth for a cause that many of them dont stand behind. Stupid.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 6:03 pm on Fri, May 13, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    Bob Smith, I agree. This dysfunctional group already gets about $28,000 a year of Lodi taxpayers' money, thanks to our free spending city council, and they should not even be allowed to qualify. They've got a director, board and countless volunteers that do all the work for the director and board and the DLBP should have someone intelligent enough to create additional fundraisers to raise their own funding. What an insult to even let this group that controls the real money making events in Lodi already to even be considered, already having dropped some events that don't measure up to their profit standards and cutting the farmers' market by 5 weeks, something most Lodians are staunchly against according those that I and my colleaugues speak to. It seems to be only a decision to boost the profit of the farmers' market, giving the director, Ms. Watts, a larger bonus check for 2011. Is this about improving downtown and business for the merchants or merely boosting paycheck figures for Ms. Watts? Those "bonuses" should go toward improving foot traffic and business for DLBP merchants, not pocket money for the director, treasurer, board members or any hard working volunteers.

  • Bob Smith posted at 2:16 pm on Fri, May 13, 2011.

    Bob Smith Posts: 128

    DLBP? How inappropriate. An organization that forces all downtown businesses to cough up a protection fee on a monthly basis.
    Why is it not surprising that they grabbed one of these spots, ahead of a more deserving organization like the American Legion.



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