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.