2014-07-12 / Editorials & Letters

Your BLASST is special!

It was another great BLASST show last Thursday night. While great BLASST shows are common, a one-word name for a big event is not. Corporate sponsors have been the trend for years and many events couldn’t continue without them.

We’re not criticizing corporate sponsorships, but it’s refreshing that our still small lake community can put on a big event by itself. Each year hundreds of residents, Buckeye Lake friends and local businesses collectively contribute tens of thousands of dollars to put on one of the best firework shows anywhere. Donations range from loose change to several thousand. It would be much easier to seek a corporate sponsor or two to fund the whole show, but that would destroy a Buckeye Lake tradition. It is YOUR BLASST!

What is now BLASST started as a fireworks show on Orchard Island put on by the Beck twins, Don and Dave, in the late 1950’s, with Tory’s late father, John W. Wolfe, providing most of the funding. Each year we can count on about $10,000 from the fund John W. established to keep the fireworks tradition alive. But that only covers about 20 percent of the cost, so every spring Terry Dupler and whoever she can corral to help, pull out one of the best mailing lists ever (past BLASST donors) to ask for yet another donation. Dave Levacy chips in whatever is needed and lets Terry do some of the work on the clock. The return rate is phenomenal! Thanks to everyone for your continuing generosity.

It takes more than just money to put on BLASST. Tory is writing Letters to the Editor, coordinating fundraisers and organizing the show itself and the music track. There are a lot of details that go unnoticed like the post-BLASST cleanup, extra toilets and lights etc. Keeping residents and thousands of visitors safe before, during and after the show is a huge undertaking. ODNR brings in dozens of park officers and watercraft officers from all over central Ohio to keep you safe. The Fairfield and Licking county Emergency Management Agencies help coordinate the effort that includes the Fairfield and Licking county sheriffs’ offices, local police departments and their auxiliaries, volunteer firefighters and EMT’s from more than half a dozen departments, the Coast Guard Auxiliary and other volunteers. Please thank them when you see them.

Our BLASST is special. We’ll continue to need your support to keep it alive. Thanks everybody!

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