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Shellie's Country Cafe fundraising for East Helena fireworks show

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Posted at 4:29 PM, Jun 11, 2024

HELENA — The cost of a meal at Shellie’s Country Cafe doesn’t only go to maintaining the long-established 24/7 diner. It also helps support a longstanding 4th of July tradition.

The East Helena fireworks show has been going on for decades, but it wasn’t until around 2016 that Shellie’s took it over.

“So, this is a big one. This one was about to kind of go away. And so, we decided we would take it over and see what we can do,” says Shellie Mitchell, owner of Shellie’s Country Cafe.

The show takes thousands of dollars to put on and around 9 months of prep. Last year, it cost about $40,000-45,000. But this year, Aimee Hoff, Owner of Shellie’s Country Cafe says the cost of fireworks has gone up. For about 200 fireworks and the pyrotechnics work of putting on the actual show the cost this year was about $53,000.

“This year fireworks have went up substantially, much like everything else. So, they've gone up about 40% this year,” says Hoff.

Their goal is to raise $55,000. They need about $17,000 more to reach their goal. Town Pump has agreed to donate $25,000 if Shellie’s can match that amount. And with each plate that goes out to hungry customers, a portion of that meal’s cost goes towards funding the show.

“We take a big amount of our sales through June and a lot of that's just donated right back to the fireworks funds," says Hoff.

This year’s show is in memory of Rick Pyfer of East Helena who was a big help in raising donations in years past. Hoff says this show couldn’t go on without the support of the community and all their sponsors.

“We just like being able to do something for the community and being able to help where we can ... The show wasn't, it was going to be discontinued back when we started taking over it, so we're just glad to keep the tradition going. We're from East Helena ourselves, so,” says Hoff.

Shellie’s is still looking for more volunteers. Those looking to donate can donate at Shellie’s or other various establishments in East Helena such as the VFW or Smith’s.