Bracket battle, radio pie auction bring in over $12K for Perry's July 4 fireworks drive

Allison Ullmann
Perry Chief

The Perry Chamber of Commerce has already reached its goal for the Fourth of July fireworks drive, raising over $12,500 in a month.

The Big Boom Bracket Battle kicked off in mid-March with the Sweet-as-Pie 16 and brought in $6,445 over four weeks of head-to-head competition. The radio pie auction returned this year on April 13 through KDLS Raccoon Valley Radio and a Facebook live event. The auction brought in a total of $6,225 once one last pie was auctioned off through a silent auction on Facebook. 

It has been several years since the radio pie auction has taken place and last year’s annual dinner pie auction was canceled because of COVID-19. 

“We were very open minded as far as what it could be, knowing that we still have plenty of time,” Perry Chamber Executive Director Lynsi Pasutti said of the pie auction. “So very, very surprised of that overwhelming support from the community and local businesses wanting to help support this fireworks drive, just amazing.”

Two other donations brought the fireworks drive total to $12,945.6 just surpassing the chamber’s goal of $12,500.  

Part of the Perry fireworks display in 2020. The Perry Chamber has surpassed its goal of $12,500 for the 2021 fireworks drive.

“More discussions to take place as far as what the plan is moving forward if we’ll move that needle to have a larger goal or not or if we will start raising funds for next year’s fireworks. But really thankful and really amazed that we are so far ahead so soon,” Pasutti said.

She added that the chamber board will be looking at next steps and whether that includes making this year's fireworks show larger, starting on next year’s fundraiser, or adding to the Fourth of July activities.

“Ultimately it’s all for the community. Just a big, big thank you to everyone involved,” Pasutti said.

That included those making the pies, bidding and winning the pies, the 16 individuals in the Big Boom Bracket Battle and those donating to the fireworks drive. Pasutti said everything counted toward the final result, from pennies and quarters in the Big Boom jars to over $1,000 bids in the pie auction.

The Big Boom Bracket Battle also saw the two finalists each bring in over $1,000 in the final round. A friendly competition saw Shaun Welch, of Welch Construction, narrowly beat out Courtney Straker, of Great Western Bank by $167.28.

Shaun Welch reacts after getting a pie thrown in his face during the Grand Finale of the Big Boom Bracket Battle on Friday, April 9.

Welch was declared the winner of the Big Boom Bracket Battle during the Grand Finale Facebook live event on Friday, April 9, earning himself a face full of coconut cream pie.

Over $6,000 was raised through the bracket battle and less than a week later, another $6,000 came in through the radio pie auction.

“I think this is all something we can be very proud of, as far as people working together to make this happen,” Pasutti said of reaching the goal for the Fourth of July fireworks drive.

For those still looking to donate to the drive, the chamber’s annual grocery bill round-up is on the calendar for the week before Memorial Day. Call the Perry Chamber at 515-465-4601 for more information. 

“We can give an update once we have it as far as our plan moving forward but one way or the other it will all come back to the community, whether it’s more fireworks or more of an activity during the event itself,” Pasutti said of the Fourth of July celebration.

Perry fireworks light up the sky in 2020. The Perry Chamber has surpassed its goal of $12,500 for the 2021 fireworks drive.