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Seattle saves its fireworks show

MyNorthwest.com Staff

Call it a grass roots effort or just a whirlwind fury of fundraising, local businesses stepped up to raise funds in a drive kicked off by 97.3 KIRO FM's Dave Ross and Seattle chef Tom Douglas to save Seattle's 4th of July fireworks show.

We're pleased to announce, with your help we have reached the goal of raising $500,000 in pledges. According to One Reel, the nonprofit that organizes the show, that is the amount needed to keep the show going.

On Thursday's Dave Ross Show, Seattle restaurateur and chef Tom Douglas pledged $5,000 to keep the show going after its cancellation due to the slumping economy and the collapse of Washington Mutual.

Douglas put out the challenge to Seattle area businesses to contribute what they could to keep a 4th of July fireworks show in Seattle.

Calls and emails started pouring in from businesses large and small, bringing in tens of thousands of dollars to keep the fireworks show alive.

Microsoft and Starbucks agreed to match $125,000 each to return fireworks to Lake Union, bringing the total raised to $500,000.

Bill Pettit, of Merrill Gardens, called in to the Dave Ross Show Friday morning to announce the final pledge.

One Reel looked for 15 months for a new sponsor. Seattle-based bank Washington Mutual had been the sponsor of the show for eight years before it collapsed in 2008. Chase, which absorbed Washington Mutual, agreed to sponsor the show for one year.

One Reel will continue to look for a sponsor for 2011.

Seattle's other major fireworks show - one sponsored by the restaurant chain Ivar's - folded in 2009 due to costs.

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