Chamber Ambassadors, volunteers collect money for fireworks; more money still needed

Published 3:25 pm Thursday, May 18, 2023

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Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors and volunteers doubled up on efforts to raise money Thursday for this year’s Fourth of July fireworks display.

In addition to standing on the corners at the intersection of West Main Street and Broadway, volunteers also stood at the intersection of Broadway and Clark Street in hopes of connecting with more motorists and to collect more donations.

The goal was to raise $20,000.

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Mike Woitas and Aaron Worm with KATE Radio broadcasted live from the fundraiser and provided updates as checks came in throughout the day.

Brenda Reed of The Children’s Center, who is also an Ambassador, was out collecting donations around the lunch hour and estimated she has taken part in the fundraiser since 2012 when she became an Ambassador.

Reed said they decided to try the second intersection this year to interact with more traffic.

She encouraged people to consider donating to the fireworks.

“Albert Lea does a great job with their fireworks display,” she said. “We don’t want to miss out on this.”

Reed said the fireworks reserve was spent in recent years, so it was particularly important to raise the full goal this year.

Donations will continue to be accepted in the coming weeks in-person or through the mail at the Chamber office, 132 N. Broadway. Donations are also accepted online at  From there, people should click the donation link and select “Fireworks Fund” from the dropdown menu.

Chamber Executive Director Shari Sprague said almost $12,200 was raised through 3 p.m.

Sprague said Taco John’s is also fundraising for the fireworks the entire month of May, and Papa Murphy’s will have three fireworks fundraisers in June.

She also plans to send out an additional sponsorship request to businesses.

She thanked Albert Lea Select Foods for their generous donation as the presenting sponsor for this year’s fireworks and said she is also considering having banners up at the fireworks this year with a QR code that people can use to make donations for the coming year.