Perry Chamber's fireworks drive continues with Bracket Battle Grand Finale, radio pie auction returns April 13

Submitted by Perry Chamber of Commerce
Some of the pies ready to be auctioned off during the 2019 Perry Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner. The Chamber's radio pie auction will return on April 13.

PERRY – The Perry Chamber’s 2021 Fireworks Drive is well on its way, with more than $4,000 raised so far over the past three weeks of the Big Boom Bracket Battle. The Grand Finale Duo – Shaun Welch of Welch Construction and Courtney Straker of Great Western Bank – will face-off this week in the final stretch of the fundraiser, which ends at noon on Friday, April 9. Then another ‘sweet’ fundraiser will take place less than a week later and just for one hour as the Chamber brings back the live on-air radio pie auction at 8 a.m. on April 13.

The list of sweet treats to be auctioned off next week include a pecan pie from Geneen Tibben, a cheesecake from JP Hulgan and a Nutella cheesecake from Mary Murphy, as well as pies donated from Raccoon Valley Bank, Fareway and Hy-Vee. The auction will take place on KDLS Raccoon Valley Radio, AM 1310 or 99.7 FM, from 8-9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 13. The action will also be livestreamed to the Chamber’s Facebook page. To place a bid on any of the 10 desserts once the auction begins, call Raccoon Valley Radio at (515)465-5357.

One pie that won’t make it to the auction is the one that will be delivered straight to the face of the winner of the Big Boom Bracket Battle – a “March Madness” themed contest and fundraiser with head-to-head match-ups of community members competing for the ultimate prize of a pie in the face. The Bracket Battle ends this Friday at noon and just as before, donations will determine the winner of the final round.

Pies sit on a table before the conclusion of the Big Boom Bracket Battle in 2020.

It started with nominations from the community and an Elimination Round on Facebook to determine the “Sweet-as-Pie 16” which then became the “Explosive 8” and then the “Firecracker 4.” Details of the actual pie-in-the-face activity will be announced later this week.

“I’ve had a blast,” finalist Courtney Straker said about the bracket-style contest, “and it’s so encouraging to see the community excited about upcoming events again!”

Straker, ranked #5 in the Elimination Round, recently beat out #9 Jack Butler of the City of Perry (who previously beat #1 Jeremy Mahler of The Proletariat and Common Wealth Provisions and #8 Misty VonBehren of the Perry Public Library), #13 Clark Wicks of the Perry Community School District (who beat #4 Gary Iles of Perry High School) and #12 Tim Walton of Walton Tree Service. Also in the left half of the bracket was #16 Mindy Baxter of AccuJet, eliminated in the first round by #1 Jeremy Mahler.

The Grand Finale Duo – Shaun Welch of Welch Construction and Courtney Straker of Great Western Bank – will face-off this week in the final stretch of the fundraiser, which ends at noon on Friday, April 9.

“It’s been fun so far, as all our proceeds will help provide an always great and exciting fireworks display on the 4th of July,” said finalist Shaun Welch. “Best of luck to Courtney this week as well, but I plan to be wearing some pie by week’s end.”

He adds, “If you’re not first, you’re last. Shake n Bake!” as a friendly jab and battle cry.

Welch, ranked #3 in the Elimination Round, recently beat out #7 Clint Lutterman of 21st Century Rehab (who previously beat #15 Tari Mason of Perry Perk and #10 Holly Kilmer of Perry Middle School), #11 Lynsi Pasutti of the Perry Chamber of Commerce (who beat last year’s winner and this year’s #6 JP Hulgan of Hulgan Plumbing Heating A/C & Electrical), as well as #14 Andrea Tunink of Ben’s Five & Dime. Also in the right half of the bracket was #2 Luke McLain of UPS, eliminated in the first round by #15 Tari Mason.

“Anyone can donate to the fireworks drive at any time,” said Lynsi Pasutti, Executive Director of the Perry Chamber of Commerce, “but these activities put the fun in fundraising.”

Pasutti reminds the community that donations may be mailed to the Perry Chamber of Commerce at PO Box 472, Perry, IA 50220. Online donations for the Big Boom Bracket Battle will be accepted until 12 p.m. on Friday, April 9 at Perry-Chamber.square.site and in-person via collection jars until 11 a.m. that same day at the McCreary Community Building (1800 Pattee Street) and Ben’s Five & Dime (1221 2nd Street). Donations for the pie auction will be due at the time of pick-up.

Two pies backed for the live pie auction during the Perry Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner in 2019.

The Chamber wishes to thank all those that have participated in the Big Boom Bracket Battle, each willing to get a pie in the face for the sake of the fireworks drive, and those that have donated to the fundraiser so far, whether with spare change or hundreds of dollars. Thanks also goes out in advance to those donating desserts and the bidders that will ultimately enjoy them next week.

For more information and to follow along on with the progress of the Big Boom Bracket Battle, visit www.PerryIA.org/BigBoomBracketBattle or the Perry Chamber’s Facebook page. Questions can be directed to the Perry Chamber at PerryChamber@PerryIA.org or (515) 465-4601.