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Donations come in to help save parade, fireworks

Andra Belknap, Ojai Valley News reporter
Kristi McGhee, president of the Ojai Independence Day Committee announced Sept. 1 that Ojai's 4th of July celebration was in trouble. The Committee was short $2,000 from its July 4, 2017 celebrations and announced it would consider cutting back or ending the annual event if it couldn't raise the funds needed by its Oct. 16 meeting. 
Three weeks later, McGhee is just $30 short of her fundraising goal and feels confident saying that Independence Day celebrations will continue in 2018.
Since Sept. 1, locals donated $1,305 to the Committee's PayPal account and $665 to a gofundme fundraising campaign organized by local Blair Braney. In total, the two women have raised $1,970.
“I just want to thank the community. That takes a huge weight off of our chest,” said McGhee. “To know the valley really wants this event to happen and they're willing to help make it happen, knowing that makes me really happy.”
Beginning in November, McGhee and her volunteer committee colleagues will begin fundraising for the 2018 event.
“This puts us out of immediate danger, but don't get it wrong, we still need donations and sponsorships,” she said.

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