Local church raises money selling fireworks
Fireworks and religion might not sound like they go together. But at the First Assembly of God, located on Northeast Third Street, it’s a different story.
For the past two years, Erica Terry and her family, joined by other volunteers from First Assembly of God, have sold fireworks from a stand in front of the church. Proceeds go toward the church’s annual summer youth camp.
“It’s a good, fun way to raise money,” Terry said. “We always like to let off a few, too.”
The Terrys ran a stand for several years, then took a hiatus, due to the grind of constantly having to tend it for two straight weeks. But with the promise of plenty of volunteer help, they decided to give it another go.
“It’s something we decided we now have a little more time for,” Terry said. “We decided we had some time to volunteer and could try and make some funds for the youth group.”
This year, like last year, the church is renting a portable stand from TNT, the company that provides the fireworks. But with the Terrys help, it may put its own stand up next year.
TNT receives the majority of the proceeds, with the church settling for a percentage. Any fireworks going unsold are returned to the company.
The church wouldn’t have to split revenue if it opened its won stand. It would just have to buy product.
“It was easier for us just to rent one the past couple years,” Terry said. “We’ll see how this year goes. We might build our own next year.”
She said, “Not having to rent a stand would obviously save us some money.”
While larger stands in bigger population centers often lose sales to vendors in Washington, where larger, airborne fireworks are still legal, that’s not as much of a problem for First Assembly of God. Most people within McMinnville seem to be content with what the local stands have to offer.
“I don’t think we lose many sales to the illegal fireworks,” said Terry’s son, David. “Most people in the city are happy with what we have.”
The stand is open for the two weeks leading up to the holiday. Those looking to buy fireworks are also encouraged to participate in a barbeque and fireworks display the church stages.
“We usually stay open until around 11 on the Fourth,” Terry said. “Fourth of July, we have a barbeque and we light off fireworks. Some of the church members buy from the stand and donate them back to the church for us to set off.”