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Originally published Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 5:40 PM

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Seattle fireworks show needs $157K by March

The organizers of the annual Fourth of July fireworks show at Lake Union still need to raise about $157,000 to fund the event. If the money isn't secured by March 1, fireworks may not light up Lake Union this year, according to Aubbie Beal, the associate director of One Reel, the nonprofit that organizes the show.

The organizers of the annual Fourth of July fireworks show at Lake Union still need to raise about $157,000 to fund the event.

The money needs to be secured by March 1 "for the show to go on," according to a news release from One Reel, the nonprofit that organizes the show.

One Reel announced in January that Microsoft and Starbucks will be the primary sponsors of this year's Family 4th at Lake Union, leaving the organization with $200,000 more to raise.

Now, with two weeks left until the group's fundraising deadline, only about 70 percent of the event's full budget has been secured, said Aubbie Beal, One Reel's associate director.

One Reel sent an e-mail Tuesday to news outlets and community bloggers saying the event still needed $162,000. Shortly afterward, a private couple donated $5,000. Other donations came in later in the night.

"We have really great confidence in this community that people are going to step up," Beal said. "I'm not alarmed."

One Reel has organized the show for more than two decades, and nearly half a million people watch the fireworks each year, Beal said.

Last April, after One Reel announced it was canceling the show because it couldn't find a title sponsor, KIRO-FM (97.3) radio host Dave Ross and restaurateur and One Reel board member Tom Douglas launched a radio campaign to save the fireworks. Douglas pledged $5,000 and challenged other small-business owners to contribute. Ross pledged $1,000.

Within one day, pledges totaled $503,000, more than enough to run the show.

Last year was the first time the show wasn't backed by one main sponsor. Washington Mutual served as the title sponsor from 2002 until the bank collapsed in 2008. New York City-based JPMorgan Chase, which bought WaMu's assets, agreed to sponsor the show only in 2009.

Douglas said he already has donated $5,000 to this year's event. He said he would talk to One Reel officials Wednesday and consider launching another campaign.

"I've put my amount in, and I'd love for people to join me," Douglas said.

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Anyone may make a donation by visiting family4th.org.

A complete list of donors may be found at family4th.org/thanks.php.

Information from The Seattle Times' archives was included in this report.

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