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Boonsboro fireworks brings families together

July 03, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

BOONSBORO -- Grace Burker's reasons for attending Boonsboro's Independence Day Celebration were simple ones.

"I get to spend time with my family and watch something interesting like fireworks," the 8-year-old said as she picnicked Friday evening in Shafer Park.

The annual celebration was the ninth for the town, Mayor Charles F. "Skip" Kauffman said. The event is for families like Grace's, and "we're getting the community out tonight," Kauffman said.

Local organizations and groups sell food and other items to raise money for their causes, said the mayor, who was wearing red, white and blue beads he bought from a local Girl Scout troop's booth.

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The money they raise selling popcorn, soda and patriotic red, white and blue items goes to help them pay for field trips, merit badges and things to help people in the community, said Mikaela Wesmiller and Hannah Violet, both 14.

The troop has been holding the fundraiser since the event began, said Kim Wesmiller, one of the leaders.

"We enjoy the evening," she said.

Another group at Shafer Park was raising money to support troops stationed overseas.

In December 2008, the South Washington County Military Support group shipped 318 boxes, including 97,193 Christmas cards, to military servicemen and servicewomen overseas, The Herald-Mail reported.

That was the group's sixth annual holiday shipment.

On Friday, the group was selling patriotic items to help fund their upcoming holiday drive, said Lynn Jones, the group's leader. Her son and son-in-law are both serving, she said.

"Whether you agree with the war or not, our kids are already over there," Jones said.

Marcy Galliker of Hagerstown was at the celebration supporting the military support group, she said.

Her brother, John Galliker, is a Marine. He and his wife were also in town Friday.

"We heard this is one of the best-kept secrets around as far as festivals," said Leah Galliker, John's wife, who was in town from North Carolina.

Her children, Sarah Galliker, 10, and Jack Galliker, 12, played nearby.

"I like it a lot here. I can't wait until the fireworks," Jack said.

The mayor said Friday that he's heard Boonsboro's fireworks show is one of the best in the area.

By 6 p.m., chairs were set up all over the baseball field, and the picnic tables in Shafer Park were filled with people.

Shannon Burker, Grace's mom, said her family started attending the annual celebration years ago.

By the time fireworks started, about 30 of their extended family members would be there, she said.

"It's a good time, a place for family to get together, watch fireworks, enjoy the holiday," she said.

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