A sigh of relief after fireworks, and a way to give

July 6, 2011 -- A collective thank you and "way to hang in there" to the Eyeopener Lions "pyro crew" after Monday's fireworks incident.

A collective thank you and "way to hang in there" to the Eyeopener Lions "pyro crew" after Monday's fireworks incident.

There was a different, unintentional, kind of excitement arising from this year's July 4 fireworks show:

A mortar mishap yielded a big "whoa!" in addition to the usual "oohs and aahs," as Julie Raefield-Gobbo reports on page A1.

The damage from Monday's accident caused no injuries, and for that we are grateful; the Eyopeners' tradition has always been done with professionalism and high attention to safety.

Made worse by the damage to the equipment on Monday is that, every year, paying for the explosive display is a skin-of-the-teeth affair.

But the Eyeopeners will be back in 2012, just with greater need to raise funds ahead of time. We have two suggestions.

First, while you are still in that Independence Day mood, send a donation for next year's display to Eyeopeners Lions, 1767 12th St., Hood River, OR 97031.

Second, the July 4 parade in 2012 could institute a voluntary "admission charge," with proceeds going to the Eyeopeners. Word could go out in late June next year asking everyone to bring $1 or $5 to the parade, just to support the fireworks. Then, somewhere near the lead of the parade, the Lions could march in a designated place and donors would know in advance it's the time to give.

Just as this newspaper has helped promote the (mostly) successful ban on thrown candy, we'd gladly get the word out about the "admission charge."

Every year, Lions walk the parade route asking for donations. They could still do so for those who did not get the word, but it would also give the community a collective moment to appreciate the Lions' dedication to a traditional expression of patriotism.

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