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Galleries help with fireworks campaign

Spokesman: Fund has topped $40K

While organizers of the revived La Jolla July Fourth festivities finalize plans for the festive evening, gallery owners are jumping on the bandwagon.

Since their new First Friday art walk falls the night before the fireworks, some of the gallery owners are pitching in with an effort to raise money for the campaign that saved the event. They started the Friday event in April to attract customers to the galleries once a month, serving wine and food in some cases or having entertainment in others.

Some said they have been reasonably pleased but are still looking for new ways to liven up the event.

“We’re all interested in making art walk special,” said Kathy Hatch of Images of Nature, adding that the galleries should find a way “to carry the momentum of Fourth of July.”

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Martin Lawrence gallery will hold a raffle to raise money for the fireworks fund and also is trying to arrange a reception for those who donated, Rebecca Hiller said Monday.

As of Monday, the fund topped $40,000, Adam Harris said.

Earlier this month, he launched a grass-roots effort to raise money to put on the event after restaurateur George Hauer announced that he would not put on the event because of rising costs, the sagging economy and the exit of co-sponsor, First Republic Bank. He had left the door open to help with details if someone came up with the money.

Deborah Marengo of Goldfish Point Cafe and Marengo Morton Architects put her networking skills to work and joined Harris’ campaign. She’s spent the time since announcing that they had met the initial $27,000 goal working on other details such as coordinating with McManus and possibly getting commemorative T-shirts and posters made.

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“One of the donors said he would make shirts that we could sell,” Marengo said. Those would be in addition to those given to the first 100 who donated to the cause, who were promised a shirt for getting on board early.

Hauer, who was true to his word and has been handling the permitting and arrangements with the fireworks company, said Monday, “Everything’s on track.”

The event is a bit simpler for him this year since a party that First Republic hosted in conjunction with the event is not being held this year.