Summer nears and the Maui Chamber of Commerce is again in high gear, partnering with the County of Maui, Lahaina businesses, community organizations and residents to raise the necessary funds to hold the annual 4th of July Fireworks in Lahaina this year.
It falls on a Wednesday this time around and provides an ideal midweek break to join with family and friends to commemorate the independence and freedoms we enjoy.
While this alone gives us cause to rejoice, the day becomes even more perfect when you add the beauty of Lahaina, swaying palm trees, watching the boats come in and out of the harbor, music at the library lawn, children playing, the entertaining atmosphere of Front Street, and great food and shopping galore.
This is truly a fun and safe community event for all ages.
Families flock from across the island to Lahaina to be a part of this special day, as evidenced by the event's growth.
The first year the Chamber coordinated this celebration, roughly 12,000 people came. Last year, the crowd was estimated to be 20,000. This year, we hope even more will attend.
All have a wonderful time as residents and visitors cherish a day that has meaning for us all, eat fabulous food, find treasures, talk story, gaze at the sunset and then cheer as fireworks burst in air while patriotic music and the excited squeals of children fill our ears and hearts.
There is nothing like it.
It also is a tremendous boost to the economy. It delivers significant returns for Front Street businesses and as is well worth the investment.
Time and again companies have shared that the annual 4th of July Fireworks in Lahaina event made up for tough times and down months.
In addition, many guests have shared that they specifically come to Maui in the month of July to join in, saying they "love it and would not miss it." Many residents feel the same.
But, it takes the whole community to make it happen.
The fireworks by themselves cost $30,000. They are the first expense that must be covered and there are others. Therefore, we are asking partners to come forward now to make it a reality - a 4th of July without fireworks is unimaginable and this is the only major fireworks display on the 4th of July.
If every business that benefits from the event gave just a bit each year and included it in their annual budgets, the fundraising job would be done and all could spend more time exploring how to make the event better and more successful each year. One day soon, we look forward to having such a system in place.
In the meantime, we are continuing to reach out to the community and asking Front Street businesses directly impacted to give based on the type and size of their business, with requested amounts ranging from $100 to $300 for small retailers/coffee and ice cream shops to $1,000 for large restaurants/hotels/time shares, with various levels in between.
However, all donations are needed and welcome, and we hope many new contributors will join us this year.
You can make this 4th of July a day to remember by giving what you can. Pledge sheets are available on the Chamber's website at www.mauichamber.com or simply call (808) 244-0081 to give a gift with immense impact and meaning today.
Mahalo for your support.
* Pamela Tumpap is president of the Maui Chamber of Commerce.