It may only be April, but the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce is already thinking about the Fourth of July.
The chamber is trying to raise at least $35,000 to fund its annual Red, White and Boom festivities, said event chair Jeff Schenk.
“It’s a signature event for the community,” Schenk said. “Especially with what’s been happening in the state and local economy, you’ve had some people pulling back with fireworks. But Ahwatukee is going ahead and making it a prominent event.”
Red, White and Boom has been an Independence Day tradition in Ahwatukee Foothills for more than two decades. The celebration moved to Rawhide for three years starting in 2006, but returned to Ahwatukee last year after the community petitioned the chamber, said chamber president Terri Kimble.
About $4,500 worth of donations has already come in, most of it driven by a homeowners association that sent out a letter to all of its residents, Kimble said. A lot of donations have been small, ranging from $5 to $20.
“It’s not about the amount that you give. It’s that you contribute in some way,” Kimble said.
Those contributions and fundraising efforts are especially important because they’ll ensure it remains a free event, Schenk said.
Today’s chamber golf tournament is expected to be one major source of funding, raising between $7,000 and $10,000 for the event, said golf tournament committee member Scott Timmons.
He said the fireworks are a great family event and helps Ahwatukee businesses by bringing spectators to town.
Timmons also has a lot of personal memories from the fireworks over the years. He went to the show growing up in Ahwatukee and now takes his three children to the celebration.
“It was tradition. That was the biggest thing. We did it every year as long as I can remember,” he said.
There were a few spots left for the tournament Wednesday, and golfers can still sign up the day of the event if those spots are left, Timmons said. Registration starts at 11 a.m. at the Club West Golf Club, 16400 S. 14th Ave. Cost is $100 for a single player or $375 for a foursome.
Non-golfers are welcome to attend a post-golf dinner and auction. Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. at Club West Golf Club, 16400 S. 14th Ave., and tickets are $25. A number of items will be auctioned off at the event, including a puppy named Boomer in honor of the fireworks.
Residents can also contribute to the Ahwatukee Chamber of Commerce Fireworks account at MidFirst Bank. Anyone who contributes at least $25 will get a “Friend of the Fireworks” window decal.
Also, the chamber is still looking for volunteers who would like to help raise money for the event. Anyone interested should contact Jeff Schenk at (480) 706-0327 or the chamber at (480) 753-7676.