Nonprofit Newswire | Unusual Fundraising: Fireworks Sales

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June 26, 2010; Source: Press Tribune | We would never have known. Apparently, in California, only “fundraising nonprofits” can legally sell consumer fireworks. Those roadside fireworks stands that pop up in the days and weeks leading to July 4th are run by nonprofits, due to a Sacramento businessman who sparked, so to speak, the nonprofit fireworks sales restriction back in the 1960s. In Roseville, California, the fireworks-dispensing nonprofits include the Roseville West Little League (which uses the income to purchase bats, balls, and insurance), the Roseville Sunrise Lions (whose fireworks income will send deaf children to a wilderness camp), the Roseville High Athletic Boosters (which made $21,000 last year from fireworks sales), and Rocklin High School Football (whose director says he “lives and breathes fireworks”). Mark this down as one of the most unusual in the list of unusual nonprofit funding sources.—Rick Cohen