Every Phantom firework booth seen in the neighborhood are manned by local parents, teachers, coaches and residents who have dedicated their time to organizing teams of volunteers to sell the exploding goodies in an effort to raise money for a worthy cause.
Although it is impossible to buy fireworks from each stand, residents should know that every dollar they spend at a local fireworks booth supports one aspect of the community.
The Raven’s Youth Football and Cheer Organization is selling fireworks at 1080 Sperry Ave. in Patterson, right next door to CVS Pharmacy.
President Bill Chastain of the Raven’s was present Sunday afternoon, along with fellow football fans and parents, to compete with other worthy organizations to earn extra cash in the fundraiser.
“We usually make roughly $5,000 to $6,000 for a week,” said Chastain about the fireworks booth. “We have over 200 kids on the roster between football and cheer. We try not to turn down anyone because of money. This is our chance to make up that difference.”
Chastain also credited the volunteers as the purveyor of the organization. “We couldn’t do it without them,” he said.
The Ravens are giving away a free, fashionable jersey for any firework order over $200. Jerseys will also be sold at $10 apiece, including delivery to any Patterson residency.
For more information regarding the Raven’s Youth Football and Cheer program, visit www.ravensyouthfootball.org.
The River of Life Christian Fellowship firework booth, located in the Savemart parking lot off Sperry Avenue, is a third year returnee to the fundraising game.
The Fellowship pulled out all the stops to attract customers by enticing families with free sno cones and iced water with any purchase.
The Fellowship also garnered a raffle ticket fundraiser. The winner will win a Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 “Care Package” remote control helicopter.
Though sales were slow this weekend, Pastor Gilbert Ybarra was confident that everyone would flock to the stands a day before the holiday.
“July 3rd is always the busiest day,” he said. “People will buy anything with a fuse.”
The Fellowship hosts one of the largest booths with the most variety and have sold out years prior, according to Fannie Ybarra.
Another non-profit, known as the Nor Cal Heat Elite Basketball Club, based in Patterson, is selling fireworks for their first time near the freeway between KFC and Jack in the Box, where they intercept non-natives off Interstate-5.
Coach Charles Roth, a Patterson resident, is eager to earn extra funds to help send local varsity basketball players to showcase tournaments for college scouts.
“We live in a very remote area, and do not get the chance to have talent scouts see what our kids are capable of,” Roth said. “We are hoping to get more support by coming out here. We thought this would be a good fundraising experience.”
Roth admits that a lot of the funds earned from the booth are generated from out-of-towners making their way to, or from, the Bay Area instead of local residents. As an incentive, Roth has lowered the prices of his packages by 10 percent.
“One sale is better than no sale,” he said. “If we make at least $1 towards helping out a kid, that is $1 more than we had before.”
Roth, a 14-year coach, believes that talented student-athletes should not be overlooked based on where they went to school. He stressed that the children should receive every opportunity possible to be seen for their skills.
Roth also boasts a 100 percent graduation rate with all his student-athletes. He has since coached at Livermore, Lathrop, and various traveling teams and has recently been appointed the new varsity basketball coach at Orestimba High School.
“It all goes back to helping the kids in our community,” he said.
Contact Brooke Borba at 892-6187, ext. 24, or firstname.lastname@example.org