Alstott donation an inspiration — we hope

On June 29, The Messenger reported on that the $13,000 to $14,000 needed to put on a fireworks show for Fort Dodge could not be raised this year.

Almost immediately, Kevin and Karen Alstott blasted into action.

The Alstotts, owners of C&S Products of Fort Dodge, contacted the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance about donating the requisite funds.

“Kevin and I thought it was important that Fort Dodge have a fireworks show for the holiday. We need to remember what the fourth of July is about,” Karen Alstott told the Alliance.

In addition to saving the show for 2013, the Alstotts demonstrate a positive commitment to Fort Dodge – one worthy of praise and emulation.

The responsibility for providing a fireworks show has been held by a handful of groups over the past 15 years. The Fort Dodge Area Chamber of Commerce, the Fort Dodge Dragoons and the 133rd Test Squadron of the Iowa Air National Guard have all handled the fundraising at different times.

Since 2006, Fort Dodge businessman Joe Gilbert has led the effort to collect the money for the show. Gilbert told The Messenger that raising the needed money became harder each year because of the lingering effects of the recession. He added that the once-healthy balance in the fireworks account dwindled.

Mayor Matt Bemrich said he has asked the leaders of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance to begin planning an effort to raise the money for a fireworks show next year.

That is, in our opinion, a good start.

However, we hope that this episode serves as a wake-up call to the community that a greater effort is required to ensure the future of Independence Day celebrations in the city.