TERRE HAUTE -- Anyone looking to do some last minute firework shopping should definitely consider the Celebrate Freedom Fireworks Fundraiser at 2532 S. 3rd St., Terre Haute, located at the corner of Preston and 3rd Streets, next to Mike's Market and across from Applebee's. They offer a wide variety of fireworks, including out-of-state items, at up to 75 percent below suggested retail prices. More importantly, all of their proceeds will go to local charities, Mercy and Truth Ministries, Army National Guard Family Support Service, Light House Mission and Conner's Center.
The fundraiser's coordinator, Dan Coletta, Indiana State University ROTC, says "it's been a challenge" organizing this event, but he is hopeful that they will get enough business in the next couple of days to make it all worthwhile. After checking out competitors' prices, Coletta estimates that 90 to 95 percent of the merchandise available at Celebrate Freedom can be purchased there at much lower prices than just about anywhere in the area. The store will be open 24 hours today and Friday for the convenience of late shoppers.
As part of what Coletta describes as "a more personal approach" to firework sales, the staff of volunteers from Mercy and Truth Ministries, Indiana National Guard and ISU will be on hand to answer questions and provide consumers with valuable safety tips. Coletta, who has some experience in choreographing fireworks displays, will also be happy to give suggestions on how to put on a successful show. He contends that fireworks are not made only for Independence Day, but can also be an exciting addition to other celebrations, including graduations, birthdays, weddings, company picnics and New Year's, along with many other special occasions.
Mercy and Truth Ministries, based in Riley, Ind., is serving as sponsor for the Celebrate Freedom Fireworks Fundraiser. It is a non-profit organization that networks with other local charities, often by supplying volunteers, educational materials and funding. They also offer disaster relief and emergency services.
The Army National Guard Family Support Service is designed to help provide soldiers and their families as needed in times of war as well as peace. Often when troops are deployed, a soldier's salary may be reduced. This is one example of when the Family Support Service might get involved. Under these circumstances, the group would step in and make certain that spouses and children are able to maintain their financial responsibilities.
Lighthouse Mission performs many helpful tasks for people in need. Among other things, they distribute food and clothing and offer temporary lodging, education and rehabilitation programs and other forms of counseling and childcare services.
Conner's Center is very similar to Lighthouse Mission, but their services are specifically for women and children.
Each of these non-profit organizations will benefit by sales made at the Celebrate Freedom Fireworks Fundraiser. For more information concerning the fundraiser or any of the charities, Coletta or other volunteers can be reached at (812) 208-0412 or at the ISU-Army ROTC office at (812) 237-3645.