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Bowlers raise half of money needed for fireworks show

Members of the Howard Kaiser family came out Saturday in support of theHoward Kaiser Memorial Bowling Tournament. The event raised about half of the $12,000 needed for the Jaycees Independence Day fireworks show.

Bowling made a major dent in the money needed to support this year’s Independence Day fireworks show.

Connersville Jaycees hosted the inaugural Howard Kaiser Memorial Bowling Tournament Saturday at Plaza Lanes. Fifteen teams hit the lanes. Charlie Wilmore’s team earned first place, while Routzahn Agency and Bette Jones squads rounded out the top three.

The event brought in just over $6,000 -- about half of the total needed -- according to Brian Durham, event chairman.

The event’s namesake, Howard Kaiser, was instrumental in hosting the annual Independence Day celebration in Connersville for over 50 years. He also headed the American Bowling Congress in Connersville for over 60 years.

The Jaycees are continuing to look at ways to fund the rest of the fireworks show. They are planning the Grand Prix go-kart again this year. Another $6,000 is needed for the show.

The Jaycees have plans to make this year’s Independence Day celebration an all-day event with live music, vendors and activities and games for kids.

“When it comes to the fireworks I think of two groups of people who appreciate it the most,” Durham said, “the children of our community whose families don’t have the disposable income to buy fireworks to do a show at home. They need something to do, something fun, something family oriented that gets them outside. And our veterans and service members. It’s not as much about the fireworks as it is a way to say thank you.”

The Jaycees plan to make this an annual event. The Jaycees are always looking for new members for the organization. It is open to men and women between 18 and 40 years old.