Fireworks sales an important fundraiser for Santa Maria area non-profit organizations

Groups can profit several thousand dollars

Fireworks stands an important fundraiser for Santa Maria area non-profit organizations

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - At the stroke of noon Friday, fireworks booths were back open for business in Santa Maria.

This year, there are 23 non-profit organizations taking part in the sales.

For most of the groups, which include churches, clubs and athletic organizations, it represents their biggest fundraiser of the year.

"It's definitely at the top of the list," said Djibril Coulibaly, Coastal Valley Soccer Club President. "It's the biggest fundraiser for us."

Coastal Valley Soccer Club has operated a fireworks stand for at least 10 years according to Coulibaly.

He said profits can sometimes exceed $10,000.

"It's fantastic because it affords us the opportunity to fund the program for the kids, so the money goes towards field fees, renting trainers, buying equipment, such as soccer goals and etc. and in turn it's less money that has to come out of the parents pockets, so it's a big plus for us," said Coulibaly.

A few blocks south in the Albertson's shopping center, New Beginning Christian Fellowship, along with Grace Lutheran Church opened its stand in the parking lot.

"We're really excited. It really helps us throughout the year," said Matthew Tajon, New Beginnings Christian Fellowship Chairman. "It helps us with community events. It helps us with community outreach, youth, kids events. It helps us reach the community all together. It brings in for us quite a bit of money."

One reason why selling fireworks is so lucrative is how much money can be raised in short period of time.

"At the end of the day, it's probably between $7,000 to $8,000 for that week, profit at least," Tajon said. "It does more for us than barbecues or any car washes could ever do and it's a short period of time. We have great volunteers and we have fun doing it."

Only non-profit organizations are allowed to sell fireworks in Santa Maria. 

Other rules stipulate the groups must be from Santa Maria or immediate area, including Orcutt, be based in the area for the past two years and include at least 15 members.

In addition to the sales, local groups emphasize the stands provide an opportunity to speak with the public, giving them a chance to let people know who they are and what they do.

"We all get to come together as a congregation, as community, as a family. We get to come together, not only to sell fireworks, but we also get the opportunity to reach people that we normally wouldn't be able to reach from our four walls over there at 1290 West McCoy and so it is a nice way to reach more people," Tajon said.

Fireworks sales are so important to the non-profits, they say their organization would take a severe financial hit without it.

"It would be tough," Coulibay said. "It would probably translate into less kids playing soccer, that would be the bottom line because there would be more parents that would not be able to afford their kids playing soccer."

Fireworks will be sold in Santa Maria through July 4, but can only be used on July 4 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

For more information, visit the City of Santa Maria fireworks program webpage.

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