Supporters of the Sturtevant fireworks who bought a raffle ticket hoping to win it big will be getting a full refund now that the raffle has been canceled. The fireworks will still light up the sky.
This was the second year the fireworks committee held a raffle to support the annual July 3rd show. The first raffle was organized as a 50/50 event and ended with 291 of 300 tickets sold at $100 each that netted the winner $15,000. A total of $14,100 went to the fireworks.
After getting feedback from residents throughout the area, trustees earlier this year decided to go with 600 tickets at $50 each and prizes of $10,000, $3,000 and $2,000. The winner was going to be drawn and announced at the Dec. 3 Dinner with Santa.
Village trustees Tuesday agreed to cancel the raffle because ticket sales are too slow to even break even by the Dec. 3 fundraiser.
Still, the fireworks will go on as planned.
“I agree with canceling the fireworks, but the village has money and should pay for it,” former Trustee Linda Busha said. “It’s time to stop expecting volunteers to raise the funds.”
Busha was also the former chair of the fireworks committee and led the charge after the fireworks were taken out of the municipal budget in 2007.
Discussion about how to fund them included splitting the cost between the annual budget and fundraising as well as making the fireworks a line item no different than snow plowing.
Trustees John Johnson and Jayme Hoffman and Village President Steve Jansen all pointed out that closing the tax incremental financing district gives the village the flexibility to fund activities and programs that have been missing for several years from the village’s operating budget.
“For so long we had no money, and we slashed everything, including the fireworks,” Jansen said. “Now it’s time to restore some things like the fireworks, summer rec programs and even the ice rinks.”
Trustee Chris Wright pointed out that residents were promised the fireworks once the TID closed and recommended transferring between $10,000 and $13,000 to cover fundraising shortages.
Raffle ticket holders should expect to receive a full refund in the mail in the coming weeks.
Further discussion about the fireworks is scheduled for the next committee meeting on Nov. 22.