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SML community rallies to raise money for local fire department after last-minute fireworks cancelation

Saunders Volunteer Fire Department said it raises $20,000 on average with its annual fireworks show

Folks on Smith Mountain Lake said this holiday weekend was one for the record books. That includes the turnout at Sunday night’s fireworks show that as of just two weeks prior, was canceled.
Folks on Smith Mountain Lake said this holiday weekend was one for the record books. That includes the turnout at Sunday night’s fireworks show that as of just two weeks prior, was canceled.

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. – Folks on Smith Mountain Lake said this holiday weekend was one for the record books. That includes the turnout at Sunday night’s fireworks show that as of just two weeks prior, was canceled.

Fireworks filled the night sky over Smith Mountain Lake as boats dotted the water all around for a show that almost didn’t happen. Mitchell’s Point marina said locals stepped up.

“There’s a long list of them that put the money forward to get everything together real quick and the attendance and the fireworks exceeded our expectations and we never thought that such a giant show could be put together so quickly,” Mitchell’s Point vice-president of operations Chris Levey said.

Levey and Darrell White of the Saunders Volunteer Fire Department were thrilled with the response. Mitchell’s rallied the troops after White and his board were forced to cancel their annual show due to complications in the fine print.

“It was awesome that they reached out and wanted to do the show and the community around here picked up the cost and donations for it, it’s just such a wonderful thing that the community had such an outreach for us,” White said.

The fireworks normally raise about $20,000 for the department, a decent chunk of their budget. But Mitchell’s raised more than $17,000 and hopes more donations will come in over the next few days to get them to their goal of $20,000.

“It’s great, it’s an awesome thing that we’re not going to have to struggle so much. I just want to say thank you to all the businesses that donated to the cause and helped cover the fireworks and Mitchell’s Marina here, they just did a wonderful thing for the community,” White said.

It couldn’t have been a better weekend as Mitchell’s sold a record amount of gas Sunday. Other marinas on the lake had similar feedback and Levey said they’re looking forward to how they can keep helping for years to come.

“I’ve never seen so many people in this area and there was parking packed up and down the road here and I think this is just a really good example of how the Smith Mountain Lake community is really the most amazing community there is,” Levey said.

You can find more information about the fundraiser here.