Russ Oberbroeckling, a 27-year resident of Temple Terrace and former president, knows the importance of the Fourth of July celebration to everyone in the community.
Like many Temple Terrace residents, Oberbroeckling and his family attend the parade every year and look forward to the fireworks later at night. It’s a tradition he said he thinks the community should always be able to enjoy.
“It’s always nice being able to watch fireworks in your own community,” he said. “But with the economy the way it was a few years ago made it hard on the city to be able to provide the fireworks.”
According to Dottie Iwerks, current member of the Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce, the city was faced with a tough decision about three years ago.
“The Chamber always paid for the parade and fireworks, but with the rising cost of everything, we had to make a decision whether or not to keep having the fireworks,” she said. “The city said they did not have the budget to keep doing the fireworks, but said they would continue to have the parade and would still provide the personnel, like firemen and police at the events.”
So, the Chamber came together to create a program to help raise money for the fireworks' cost. Since 2008, it has collected donations from the community through “Light Up The Sky.”
“The city hasn’t had to pay for fireworks for the last three years,” Iwerks said. “I have donated each year since the program has started, and it helps our residents be able to stay in their own community to enjoy such a wonderful holiday with family and friends.”
The first 200 people who donate $100 or more to “Light Up The Sky” receive a kit complete an American flag and pole and an “I Helped Light Up the Sky” yard sign.
“The sign helps get the word out about donating and shows your neighbors that you are a part of this,” Deanna Oberbroeckling said.
This year, the Chamber has received more than 50 donations, according to Lauren Tice, administrative assistant.
“I just think a program like this shows how active we are as a community,” Deanna Oberbroeckling said. “Fourth of July is such a part of Temple Terrace, and the celebration is a defining characteristic of our city. It’s crazy to even think that it would ever go away.”
The fireworks will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m. and can be seen from the fairway.
“Residents in Temple Terrace should really continue to donate every year so everyone can enjoy this,” Russ Oberbroeckling said. “It would be a shame to not have fireworks in our community.”
Check back for more Independence Day-themed stories on Temple Terrace Patch as we count down the days to July 4!
The complete list of "Light Up The Sky" donors includes:
Al & Jane Latina
Albert & Joann Brown
Anthony & Karen Prisland
Business Ink Printing
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Cloud Hands Tai Chi
Corpus Christi Catholic Church
Creighton & Dru Trahan
Dale & Yoli Adams
David & Sandra Bruck
DeVane Financial Advisors
Doris R. Rimbey
Express Employment Professionals
Fred & Lynn McKinney
From Your Friends in the Temple Terrace Friendship Club
Gerald M. Kluft DDS
GFWC Temple Terrace Junior Woman's Club
Gloria Kares-Coldwell Banker
Iwerks For You, Inc.
Jamie & Travis Malloy
Joe & Elizabeth Affronti
John & Barbara McGlinchy
John & Carolyn Yodzis
Law Offices of Jack L. Townsend
Mark Master, Inc.
Mitchell Family Foundation
On Your Toes
Otto Engineering, Inc.
Ralph C. Dell
Russ Oberbroeckling- American Financial Group
Sally & Peter Ballas
Temple Terrace Garden Club
Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club
Temple Terrace Preservation Society
Tommy & Vicki Wagner
TT Ace Hardware