Big Boom, radio pie auction bring in over $15K for Perry’s July 4 fireworks drive

Allison Ullmann
Perry Chief
One of the baked items donated for the live radio pie auction on Wednesday, April 6.

The Perry Chamber of Commerce has already surpassed its goal for the Fourth of July fireworks drive, raising over $15,000 during the past month. 

That goal has now increased from $12,500 to $18,500 for this year’s fireworks show. 

Lynsi Pasutti, executive director of the Perry Chamber, said the goal increased because of rising costs of fireworks. 

“That’s what we’re spending on fireworks this year, $18,500, in order to have a nice show like last year and anything beyond that that’s raised will help us for next year to get a leg up on that fundraising so we can always be working ahead,” Pasutti said.

The chamber rolled over funds raised last year to add to this year’s fundraising totals from the Big Boom Bracket Battle and the live radio pie auction.

The Big Boom Bracket Battle kicked off this year’s fundraising drive in mid-March with the Sweet-as-Pie 16 and brought in $4,338 over four weeks of head-to-head competition. Michael Pentico faced off against Susan Smith during the Grand Finale Duo. Pentico raised $401 to Smith’s $238 in the final round, earning him the honor of receiving a pie in the face during the Perry Chamber’s annual dinner on Tuesday, April 5.

The radio pie auction returned the very next day and brought in $11,000 for the fireworks drive through KDLS Raccoon Valley Radio and a Facebook live event. That number surpassed last year’s total of $6,225 when the radio pie auction returned after several years.

“A big thank you to everyone, it wouldn’t be possible without that generosity of both donating the baked goods but then also putting that support in through the auction (as bidders),” Pasutti said. “So just a huge thank you to everyone that participated in one way or another.”

She also thanked everyone who has donated to this year’s fireworks drive. Those donations ranged from spare change put into jars for the Big Boom Bracket Battle to $1,000 for a pie through the radio auction. The next fireworks fundraising opportunity comes through the grocery bill round-ups at Fareway and Hy-Vee during the week of Memorial Day. Customers can round up their purchases and Pasutti said it all adds up to help support the fireworks drive.

“Really the big message is that this Fourth of July fireworks show is the community’s fireworks show,” Pasutti said. “It’s the chamber that’s facilitating the fundraising but ultimately, we’re purchasing the show for the community. That’s what makes it so nice when people are contributing to the cause to also be able to enjoy it down the road.”

Fireworks light up the sky in Perry's Pattee Park on Sunday, July 4.