Celebrating the Fourth with fireworks

Proceeds from the sale of fireworks at stands in Camas and Washougal benefit local groups

Camas High School seniors Emily Conner and Konner Lessard help advertise the fireworks stand located on 192nd Avenue and First Street in Camas on Thursday. Owned by Gene Marlow, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Camas High School and Union High School.

Fireworks are currently being sold at booths throughout the Camas-Washougal area. Proceeds from several of the stands benefit local groups, including non-profit organizations, churches and schools.

According to Treasurer Steve Haunreiter, the Camas Lions Club has been selling fireworks for more than 25 years. They started out operating a small booth at Westlie Ford, later expanding into a tent at Safeway, 800 N.E. Third Ave., which is its present location.

The Lions will focus proceeds earned on granting scholarships to Camas High School graduates, recycling eyeglasses, and providing hearing aids to those who cannot afford them.

They also donate to local clubs, such as the East Clark County Young Life youth ministry.

“We give to different groups wherever it's needed,” said Haunreiter.

NorthLake Church of Camas is also seizing this fundraising opportunity with a fireworks tent located in Washougal, adjacent to Westlie Ford, 115 S. First St.

Its proceeds will support the church’s youth and children’s programs. In the last three years, the stand has seen major revenue growth, climbing from $10,000 to $26,000 to $42,000 in 2013. NorthLake’s goal this year is raising more than $50,000.

Gene Marlow has been operating Mean Gene Fireworks for more than 10 years. His multiple locations benefit different causes. In Camas, the earnings from the stand at Southeast 192nd Avenue and Brady Road are donated to the Fort Vancouver Historic Reserve for its fireworks display, while those from the stand at Southeast 192nd Avenue and First Street location will be donated to Union High School and Camas High School. At the Tidland Corp. stand, 2305 S.E. Eighth Ave., the proceeds will benefit Camas High School’s senior grad night. Marlow has raised more than $50,000 in past years.

Notably, Marlow’s Tidland location is open for sales on July 5, unlike many firework stands. While the fireworks cannot be legally discharged on July 5, they can be sold and purchased in Camas from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In Washougal, fireworks can be discharged only on July 4, from 9 a.m. to midnight.

In Camas and in unincorporated Clark County, fireworks can be discharged today between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., and July 4, between 9 a.m. and midnight.