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A charity fundraiser is banned for unrelated reasons; now this Southeast lodge asks for direct support

DAVID F. ASHTON - With the last-minute fireworks ban before Independence Day, this year Brentwood-Darlingtons Moose International Lodge #291 fundraising fireworks stand (the red structure in front) had to shut down, only days before the holiday. For several years, Moose International Lodge 291 – in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood – has sold Oregon-approved "safe-and-sane" fireworks to neighbors.

Many residents eagerly look forward to the red-painted booth on their lawn on S.E. Flavel Street at 52nd Avenue. However, with the heat and tinder-dry weather, Portland was included in a general fireworks ban on June 30 – so the booth was closed down for the season.

"It's our main fundraising effort for the year," said Social Quarters Manager Patti Thayer. "People here have always supported us very well at our 4th of July fireworks stand."

The money raised by the annual effort goes to fund public neighborhood events they hold on Hallowe'en, Christmas, and Easter, Thayer explained. "During the winter, we also have funds to give coats and clothing to those who need it; so the fireworks sale really helps us do those things for the community."

"Last year we raised $4,500; this year we'll be lucky to break even [on what we sold before the ban was announced]. We can't send back packages opened for display – and, our permit alone cost $200. So, it was a 'big hit' to our finances.

"At the same time, we do understand the dangers posed for fire by the dry weather, we get it, totally. And, the purpose of our lodge is to help our neighbors."

They're now looking into having some other public fundraising event for their community events. But if you'd like to donate to the lodge's community services, for the time being you can drop off cash – or a check made out to Moose Lodge 291. By the way, they're a 501c3 nonprofit organization, so such gifts are tax-deductible.

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