By Maureen Robertson
Ramona Rotary’s July 4th Family Picnic & Fireworks turns 21 this year, and it will take $26,000 to stage the festivities.
Donations are coming from individuals, businesses, organizations and families, with $19,568 raised as of midday Tuesday, event chair Peter Schiff said.
Donation canisters are in Ramona businesses, and Rotarians and some Kiwanians will be back in front of Albertsons, Stater Bros. and Kmart accepting donations on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The community fireworks and family picnic will be behind Olive Peirce Middle School from 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 4. Games, food, activities and entertainment are planned and, as in previous years, the grand finale will be the skyshow backed by patriotic music from KYXY-FM radio.
“We take it all — large and small,” Schiff said of donations. “It whittles away at the cost.”
Without the community’s support, Rotary would be unable to put on the annual event, he said, adding that the high school students who help set up and tear down are a big help.
“Rotary couldn’t do it without the high school kids,” he said. “We’re getting more mature by the minute. If we didn’t have the young bodies to help us out, it wouldn’t happen.”
This is Schiff’s third year as event chair and seventh as a participant.
Admission to the festivities is free. Those attending may bring their own picnic baskets or purchase food from one or all of the four food vendors. Kiwanis of Ramona and the Ramona High School Ag Boosters will be selling hamburgers, hot dogs and brats, said Rotarian Craig Jung, vendor chair. Los Amigos will sell Mexican food such as street tacos and nachos, and Enchantments will have funnel cakes, lemonade, cotton candy and kettle corn. Soda and water also will be sold.
Non-food vendors have until June 28 to notify Jung at 619-990-4469 that they plan to participate. Groups without a food handler’s license may participate if they have pre-packaged items such as energy bars, Jung noted.
Ramona Lutheran Christian Day School will do face painting, Rotarians — with help from high school Interact students and Boys & Girls Club youngsters — will stage games, and LED Light Up Wands, Glow-in-the-Dark Necklaces, and terry cloth caps with Ramona Bulldog embroidery by LaDawn Jung will be sold at the Rotary booth.
Donations may be mailed to Ramona Rotary Club, P.O. Box 276, Ramona, CA 92065, with checks payable to Ramona Rotary Fourth of July.
The community can keep an eye on the progress of donations at the oversized thermometer on 10th Street near the corner of Main Street.
For more information, Schiff may be contacted at 760-787-0188.