90°F
weather icon Clear

Southern Nevada nonprofits hope to see boost from firework sales

Updated June 30, 2020 - 8:15 am

Independence Day has never meant so much for many area nonprofits.

Freedom House Sober Living apartments, which provides assistance for people recovering from substance abuse, hopes firework sales will help carry the nonprofit through the challenges it is facing because of the coronavirus pandemic, program manager Robert Banghart said.

“For us, firework sales means the ability to house more people, and it goes into everything as a nonprofit,” Banghart said.

Nonprofits and charity organizations are the only approved sellers of “safe and sane” fireworks in Clark County from June 28 to July 4, and many are hoping that sales for the holiday will serve as a bright spot in tough times brought about by the pandemic, which has led to an uptick in services and dampened fundraising efforts.

Fundraising amid pandemic

According to a recent UNLV report that collected responses from 149 Nevada nonprofits between late April and mid-May, nearly 20 percent of all nonprofits indicated that they were unlikely to make payroll in the next month.

“Margins are tight, and that funding, in a time of year where it’s slow, it’s going to help us to feed, clothe and provide supplies for patients that stay here,” Banghart said.

Last year, Freedom House brought in $8,000 from its firework sales. This year, Banghart said, it has set up a booth “in a way better location,” at the Albertsons at 7350 S. Rainbow Blvd., and aims for $12,000 in proceeds.

Team Kenzie, a 5K racing team that raises money for Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada, said firework sales already look promising.

Since Sunday, Team Kenzie member Jeff Helvin said, the booth, at the Rebel at 9390 W. Flamingo Road, has seen more sales than this time last year.

“So far we have the highest sales for our first two days, which is usually very slow at the beginning of the week,” Hevlin said. “I’m hoping we get to $25,000 this year, and my instinct is that because of the lack of public events, maybe that’s driving more people to the booth and they’re going to do their own event.”

Selling fireworks every year is a way to keep MaKenzie Hanover’s memory alive and to support a local childhood cancer organization that has meant so much to her family. Hanover, who died in 2011 from brain cancer as a teenager, received support from the foundation.

Helvin, who is Hanover’s cousin, says Team Kenzie usually brings in at least $20,000 from firework sales.

Kimberly Kindig, CEO of Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada, said the nonprofit is hoping firework sales from Team Kenzie’s booth will help offset some of the financial impact of the pandemic.

For example, the foundation’s 31st annual Candlelighters Superhero 5K in September may be moved to a virtual setting, which would probably hamper fundraising efforts.

Kindig said firework proceeds from Team Kenzie are crucial for the nonprofit to “continue to meet the needs of our families but also just in determining the rest of the year.”

‘America’s favorite pastime’

So far, 100 charities and nonprofits have been issued permits to sell fireworks for the week, according to Clark County spokeswoman Stacey Welling. Other local jurisdictions are also issuing permits.

This year, firework sales have skyrocketed in large part because the Fourth of July falls on a Saturday, “which always gives us a boost in sales,” said Travis Williams, Phantom Fireworks’ regional manager for Nevada. The company is one of two authorized firework suppliers.

Phantom pays for nonprofits’ fees, including permit fees and rent for booth locations, Williams says, “because they might not have the extra cash around.” The nonprofits will pay those fees back out of the proceeds, and Williams says Phantom Fireworks splits its firework sales 50-50.

“It gives nonprofits an opportunity to raise the most amount of money in seven days for an entire year. We think it’s really important that these nonprofits can raise funds that stay here in Las Vegas,” he said.

He says he hopes this year will be a strong showing.

“This is America’s favorite pastime. It’s America’s birthday, and I haven’t really met anyone that doesn’t like fireworks.”

Contact Jonathan Ng at jng@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ByJonathanNg on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas gives notice of potential layoffs - VIDEO
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas sent the state notice of potential layoffs at the 3,000-room property on the Las Vegas Strip.
Is Nevada the ‘gold standard’ for casino coronavirus response? - Video
Whenever experts begin comparing gaming jurisdictions, you’re bound to hear the phrase “gold standard” dropped in the conversation. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Resorts World Las Vegas activates 100,000-square-foot LED screen - VIDEO
Resorts World Las Vegas activated its 100,000-square-foot LED screen on its west tower on Independence Day, showing a digital fireworks display. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Station Casinos president dies in watercraft accident - VIDEO
Richard Haskins, president of Red Rock Resorts Inc. and Station Casinos, died Saturday in a watercraft accident in Michigan, according to a statement released by the company. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hockey arena opponents erred in ballot initiative - Video
Opponents of a minor league hockey arena in Henderson collected enough verified signatures to put the disputed project on the November ballot, but then a problem emerged: A procedural error on the petition.
Layoffs at 'The Drew' force staff to sue owner
Rj Business reporter Eli Segall talks about the lawsuit and the future of the unfinished hotel and casino.
Vegas tourists react to mask mandate - VIDEO
Governor Steve Sisolak announced on Wednesday a mandate to wear face masks starting Friday. Down on the Las Vegas Strip tourists reacted on camera to the news. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA #VegasSmart social media campaign brings awareness to wearing a mask - Video
Now that Gov. Steve Sisolak has announced requirements to wear masks in public settings in the state, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will attempt to deliver the message to prospective visitors via their #VegasSmart social media campaign. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's unemployment crisis - Video
Thousands of jobless workers turned to the state for payments after the COVID-19 shutdown in March. DETR has struggled to handle record claims. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars mandates guests to wear masks
Guests at Caesars Entertainment Corp. properties will be required to wear masks while inside its properties, effective immediately.
MGM Grand and Aria are reopening pool clubs - Video
MGM Grand’s Wet Republic Ultra Pool and Aria’s Liquid Pool Lounge plan to open July 2, according to a Wednesday statement from MGM Resorts International and Hakkasan Group. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Survey shows big reluctance to travel with coronavirus ablaze - VIDEO
Would-be travelers are becoming more pessimistic in their outlook about their safety when they travel. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown's Circa resort will begin taking room reservations Wednesday - Video
Circa developer Derek Stevens confirmed that when the property opens on Oct. 28, persons under the age of 21 won’t be allowed. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas’ Circa resort will begin taking room reservations - Video
Downtown Las Vegas’ Circa resort will begin taking room reservations on Wednesday. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Culinary union expresses concerns about returning to work - Video
The Culinary union expresses its concerns about returning to work and the safety precautions that casinos are taking to ensure the safety of staff.
Bellagio poker room reopens with approval to host six-handed games - Video
The installation of plexiglass dividers between the players gave the Bellagio an edge over the other poker rooms open in Las Vegas. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Westgate reopens after coronavirus shutdown - Video
Jay Kornegay, vice president of Westgate Sportsbook, talks about the reopening of the casino on Thursday, June 18. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Final beam of Circa resort tower moved into place - Video
A crane whisked the final beam in the construction of downtown Las Vegas’ Circa resort property into place Friday morning, June 19, and crews paused momentarily, then continued working to ensure the casino's Oct. 28 opening. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paris Las Vegas reopens - Video
The Paris Las Vegas hotel-casino reopened its doors on June 18 after the statewide shutdown in response to COVID-19. (Mackenzie Behm/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Masks required at casino table games in Nevada - Video
The state Gaming Control Board has ordered Nevada casinos to require players and spectators of most casino table and card games to wear protective face coverings.
Downtown Las Vegas’ Circa to open in October - Video
Circa resort-casino’s first five floors are set to open Oct. 28, according to CEO and developer Derek Stevens. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas movie theaters set July reopening date - Video
Las Vegas movie theater reopenings will start Regal, the valley’s largest exhibitor, announced Tuesday that it will reopen its theaters starting July 10, albeit in a modified fashion. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Contractors say they’re owed $36M for work done at Drew Las Vegas - Video
Three months after coronavirus turmoil shut off construction of the Drew Las Vegas, contractors have levied claims for more than $36 million in unpaid bills. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Contractors say they’re owed $36M for work done at Drew Las Vegas
Three months after coronavirus turmoil shut off construction of the Drew Las Vegas, contractors have levied claims for more than $36 million in unpaid bills. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Many Las Vegas guests ignoring COVID-19 protocols
Casinos are putting safety first but many Las Vegas guests are not socially distancing.
As Las Vegas casinos reopen, not every employee is convinced it's safe to go back.
As Las Vegas casinos reopen, some employees aren't convinced it's safe to go back.
1.54M Americans filed for unemployment last week - Video
The U.S. Labor Department released the unemployment numbers on Thursday, June 11. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1.54 Million Americans Filed for Unemployment Last Week
1.54 Million Americans Filed for Unemployment Last Week. The U.S. Labor Department released the unemployment numbers on Thursday. The number of jobless claims was just below economists' predictions of 1.55 million claims. 1.897 million Americans applied for unemployment insurance the previous week. More than 44 million Americans have filed jobless claims in the past three months. Continuing claims nearly topped 21 million. The numbers follow the May jobs report, which revealed that more than two million jobs were added to the U.S. economy in May. Initial jobless claims continued the gradual downward trend. But it is still hard to square the claims figures with the much more upbeat news on the labor market from May’s Employment Report, Capital Economics, via Yahoo Finance
Visitors return to Las Vegas
Guests returned to Las Vegas casinos throughout the weekend. Casinos reopened on Thursday after being closed for 78 days because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Sisolak tours casino property after reopening - Video
Gov. Steve Sisolak and Sandra Morgan, chairwoman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, participated in a tour of the Wynn Las Vegas hotel-casino where they share their first thoughts on casinos reopening. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST