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Save the fireworks campaign approaching goal

There may yet be a chance to save La Jolla’s annual Fourth of July Cove fireworks display.

La Jolla native and business consultant Adam Harris, said Monday afternoon the campaign he launched Friday to raise the approximately $27,000 needed to stage the display is close to $23,000.

He also said the nonprofit La Jolla Community Foundation has agreed to handle funds, so contributions will be tax-deductible.

He set up the Web site,

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www.savelajollafireworks.com

, to raise pledges after reading that George Hauer, the La Jolla restaurateur who has co-hosted the Independence Day fireworks display for 24 years announced that the event would not happen this year.

Hauer, who in the past has coordinated the festivities with the support of First Republic Bank, said the recession and rising permit costs and city fees were forcing him to take a “hiatus” from hosting it this year.

“I felt so very sad,” said Harris. “The Fourth of July fireworks have been a part of my childhood and youth. My thought is that, through some viral marketing and technology providers like Twitter and Facebook, we might be able to mount an Internet campaign to raise the necessary money to pay for the event (including permits, etc.).”

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He said his plan would be to “ask the citizens of La Jolla to donate $25 to make the event happen and receive a limited edition T-shirt with a custom logo indicating participation in the fund drive.”

Hauer said it’s not too late to save the fireworks, although time is of the essence.

“If somebody wants to organize a campaign where they can deliver a substantial amount of money to me in the next three or four days, then we can do the fireworks,” he said.

Hauer noted he’s had all the necessary meetings with the city and has the fireworks company on standby, but added their drop-dead date for a go, no go on the Fourth of July is June 10.

“We still would have to get a security company and contract for Port-a-potties and police and fire and lifeguards,” he said. “It would require some frantic work, which I’m willing to do.”

But, he added, “what I can’t do is have a whole bunch of people say, ‘This sounds great, we’ll raise some money,’ and find out July 1 that they’ve only raised $14,000 and they’re only $13,000 short.”

Harris said he had spoken with Hauer, who said he would work with him but had to have the necessary cash by Wednesday.

“There’s no risk in trying,” Harris added, noting that family and friends had pledged nearly $1,000 without the campaign even being launched.

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Harris said anyone interested in getting on board should e-mail him at

aharris@calacles.com

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