published Friday, July 1st, 2011

Cleveland celebration to help tornado victims

The annual Fourth of July celebration sponsored by Mount Olive Church of God is downsizing this year for a great cause — but it will still claim the title of biggest fireworks display in Cleveland, Tenn.

The Mount Olive Freedom Celebration has traditionally been a day full of musical entertainment, inflatables and children’s activities held in the Tri-State Exhibition Center.

This year’s celebration, on Monday, will be limited to a silent auction in Bradley Square Mall from 6 to 8:30 p.m. followed by fireworks at 9 o’clock. All money raised will be given to Bradley County victims of the April 27 tornadoes.

“It was hard for us to justify spending the money that we would on entertainment and inflatables when there are people in our community who don’t even have homes to live in,” said the Rev. James Sears, Mount Olive pastor.

“We decided we would invest in the community to help victims who lost everything,” he said.

The pastor said the silent auction will be set up in the center of the mall and include items donated by Cleveland merchants.

More than 900 shells will be shot in the colorful fireworks display, which is sponsored by Larry Hill Ford.

Fireworks will be shot from a location near the mall so they are visible to spectators in the mall parking area.

about Susan Pierce...

Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...

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