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In Asharoken, July 4th is a year-long effort

OYSTER BAY, NY, July 4, 2010---Fourth of July

OYSTER BAY, NY, July 4, 2010---Fourth of July fireworks explode over Oyster Bay during Sunday night's traditional Grucci Fireworks show. Photo by Pablo Corradi Credit: Newsday/Pablo Corradi

The Asharoken Fourth of July fireworks display is a tradition that is apparently so cherished, even whispers last year that it could be in danger of losing village funding jolted residents into action.

A “Save the Fireworks” committee was started by about a dozen residents after the village board mentioned that it may not be able to sustain funding the $25,000 show in future years.

The show is in the budget for this year, but residents aren’t taking any chances that it could be cut in the future. They started a fundraising effort last fall when the committee took over the village’s annual holiday dinner. And recently, it began selling “Save the Fireworks” apparel, including T-shirts, hats and towels with the face of the Asharoken Indian Chief in his headdress.

Anna Pollaci, a 12-year village resident and a member of the committee, said the apparel is sold through private homes, including her own, but an order form is available on the village’s website. Hats cost $20, towels cost $40 and T-shirts cost $15 and $20, depending on style.

The committee isn’t revealing how much it has earned until it makes a formal presentation to the board when the campaign ends in July, but the goal is to come up with the total cost for one year’s display.

Village Mayor Patricia Irving said she thinks the campaign is “wonderful” and that it’s nice to see residents come together for the good of the community.

“This is a group of people that just love the tradition down here and many communities give up their traditions as time goes on and money gets tight,” she said. “It’s the community spirit.”

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