By Susan Bromley
– The Chamber of Commerce may have flamed out, but a non-profit community organization has stepped up to make sure the fireworks show does not.
The Friends of AMOS (Always Making Ortonville Strong) will take over fundraising and planning for the 2017 Ortonville Fireworks following the dissolution of the chamber earlier this year. For years, the chamber was in charge of raising money for the annual fireworks show celebrating Independence Day.
“Fireworks is a long tradition in Ortonville— as far back as I can remember, we’ve always had it and people look forward to it,” said Robert Renchik, chairperson for Friends of AMOS.
“It brings families together and it’s a good community happening. We’re celebrating the Fourth of July, we all have a common interest, everyone’s happy and who doesn’t like fireworks?”
In March, Brandon Fire Chief Dave Kwapis contacted the 501c3 organization, which was founded in 2014 for the sole purpose of supporting community projects and events, to see if the group would fill the fundraising role for the fireworks.
“Our organization is thrilled to help save this great event for our local residents,” said Jason Kratt, Friends of AMOS trustee. “I can’t wait to see the excitement on kids’ faces again this summer when those fireworks light up the sky.”
Wolverine Fireworks has provided the Ortonville sky show for the last several years. The Friends of AMOS have set a goal of raising $10,000 for a 30-minute fireworks show. Renchik said the information the group received is there was no money leftover from last year’s Chamber-sponsored show.
Fundraising cans will soon appear at businesses around town and business sponsors for the fireworks show are also sought. In return for their sponsorship, they will be recognized on banners and other fireworks promotions.
A date has not yet been set for the fireworks, but Renchik said the Friends of AMOS hope to get a date as close to July 4th as possible.
To support the Ortonville fireworks, checks can be made payable to Friends of AMOS and sent to P.O. Box 84, Ortonville, MI 48462.
For more information on the organization, call or email Robert Renchik at 248-515-5680 or firstname.lastname@example.org.