Brandon Fireworks thanks VS Fire Department for their service

Staff report

The owner of a seasonal business is giving back to a volunteer organization that allowed him to light up the evening sky for the community on July 4th.

TJ Cameron, owner of Brandon Fireworks, has staged public fireworks show for the community for several years at no cost to the community. This year, however, the dry conditions combined with a string of high-temperature days, Cameron wanted a reliable emergency water source on hand. And it was volunteers with the Valley Springs Fire Department that heeded the call to be on standby.

“Why would we say no?” Valley Springs fire chief Brad Top said. “When someone asks for our help, that’s what we’re here for, to do whatever we can do to help.”

As a gesture of thanks, Cameron presented the volunteer fire department with a donation of $776. Cameron earmarked $750 for the volunteer firefighters and tossed in miscellaneous donations from customers. Cressman Sanitation and Reaves Building Supplies also donated to the fireworks show. 

“We’ve never asked for sponsors in the past, but we could make it a goal next year to raise a little money to make it a $1,776 donation,” Cameron said. “I just really appreciate the community support and that’s the reason I do the show every year. Brandon has been good to us and we try to be good to the community.”

Cameron was also good to the eight firefighters that were on standby for the show, gifting each firefighter with $300 of fireworks.

“If it weren’t for the Valley Springs Fire Department, we probably wouldn’t have hosted our show this year, because it came down to a matter of weather and drought, but they bent over backwards to make it happen so that we could provide a show for the community,” Cameron said. “This is something that I love doing for our town since we don’t have a city show, and I couldn’t appreciate their partnership more than anything. At the very least, we wanted to make a contribution to thank the team for coming over to make sure we had a safe and responsible show for the community.”

Top said the department is grateful for the donation.

“We’re very happy to receive it and it sounds like we have a new partnership for next year,” he said.

Although eight of the department volunteers were at the fireworks show, Top assures there were enough volunteers in Valley Springs to keep them from being “spread thin.”

In tallying up their sales for the season, Cameron said he counted up gift cards they gave to various non-profit fundraisers in recent weeks and months that totaled in the thousands of dollars.

“Basically, it’s the same as cash, but the fact that we can give that back to Brandon and help organizations like the Chamber and the Pink Ladies in Corson, and now the Valley Springs Fire Department and other small non-profit organizations raise money, is something I really like to do for our community,” he said. “Our first three years we really didn’t make a lot of money, but we’ve been in Brandon for 10 years now and I think giving back to the community is what has helped us grow. This year, there was even more competition than there’s been in years past, and I just feel if I’m good to my community, they’ll be good to me.”


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