ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- Residents of central Minnesota who love watching the St. Cloud Fireworks on the 4th of July lost its biggest supporter earlier this year.

Fireworks commissioner Tom Richardson died in March at the age of 65. But, fireworks board chair Jason Bernick says the show will go on despite Tom's absence.

Bernick says the fundraising efforts will also continue to pay for the fireworks...

We don't have an endowed fund, so every year we need to make the push to raise money for the year's fireworks. Tom's vision was to increase the fireworks (fundraising) leading up to the 250th birthday of the United States and that comes up in 2026.

Bernick says everyone is stepping in to try to fill Tom's shoes. He says Tom was single-handedly responsible for bringing the fireworks launch onto a barge...

Now with the loss of Tom, we would need to hire a barge pilot. This is a highly technical position that somebody would need to drive this barge. To hire somebody to do that would cost a lot of money. And, Tom went through the classes, learned how to pilot a barge and it was no small task.

Bernick says they are always looking for donations and for volunteers to help set up for the event and clean up afterward.

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To donate to the St. Cloud Fireworks display, you can drop off those donations at Schlenner Wenner & Company in St. Cloud or mail them to their offices at 630 Roosevelt Road, Suite 201 St. Cloud, MN 56301.

If you'd rather volunteer, Bernicks says they need quite a few people to help with setup and tear down each year as well. To volunteer, you can call (612) 836-3635 or email your information to





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