TEMPLETON — As far as fundraisers go, fireworks stands give nonprofits the biggest bang for their buck.
Sales this year ran from noon on July 1 through 10 p.m. on July 4 and some groups such as the Templeton Education Foundation bring in more than $30,000 over the span.
“We usually do a pretty good sale,” said current TEF president Kristi Dunn. “Our net proceeds from it are historically $30,000 to $40,000. It gives us a lot of opportunity to fund grants.”
There was a steady stream of people purchasing fireworks from the four stands in Templeton on July 3. The shelves were stocked and people were marking their order sheets and asking plenty of questions.
Linda Whitson brought her granddaughter Brittney along to help pick out the fireworks. Linda Whitson said she only shops at the TEF booth, which was situated on the southern end of Main Street across the street from Joe’s Other Place.
“Every year, every year,” Linda Whitson said. “I’ve got four granddaughters, three of them went to the schools here. We definitely only support this booth.”
Community support is crucial to the success of the fireworks booths.
“It’s a nice chunk of money in a short amount of time,” Dunn said. “We count on the community and they come out. We get a lot of people that come to this fireworks booth just because they know we give it to the schools. It’s really good.”
For TEF, the fireworks booth is one of their two main yearly fundraisers. The other is their Denim and Diamonds gala held in the Fall. TEF works year-round to make Denim and Diamonds go off without a hitch.
Proceeds from the two allow TEF to fund grants for the Templeton Unified School District and its teachers. Over the years, the foundation has purchased electronics such as iPads through its grant program.
“Whatever they need,” Dunn said. “This last year we funded an emergency preparedness trailer for the district. We definitely count on the booth. This fundraiser, we count on the whole community coming out.”
Without the fireworks booth, Dunn said they would have to hold several fundraisers throughout the year.
On the other end of Main Street sat the Central Coast Center for Spiritual Living’s booth. The Rev. Elizabeth Rowley explained the center, like TEF, relies heavily on the fireworks booth to fund its work.
“If we didn’t have this we would probably not be here is what I understand,” said Rowley, who has been the minister and director of the center for the past three months. “My understanding is they have really counted on this to continue the programs.”
Central Coast Center for Spiritual Living has had a booth for the past six or seven years, Rowley said. Although, having a booth is a lot of work, she said it’s worth it.
“The setup was a lot of work,” Rowley said. “This is our main fundraiser. We make the most money from this fundraiser. We are able to use it to help with our programs. This year we are looking to use some of the money to build out our youth wing so we can have a greater youth program — we are pretty excited about that. And creating other programs to bring people in.”