Seacoast Bank steps up to support Stuart fireworks, encourages local businesses to do same

Stuart Main Street and the Historic Stuart Downtown Business Association (DBA) announced today that local community bank, Seacoast National Bank, has stepped up as presenting sponsor for Star Spangled Stuart, Martin County’s ONLY  July 4th fireworks display and festival. In contributing, the bank recognized its commitment to the Stuart/Martin County community and its customer promise to invest in the community. Main Street and the DBA have been struggling to find sponsors for the 18th annual event and are facing a multi-thousand dollar shortfall. Seacoast’s sponsorship puts them over halfway to their fundraising goal, but they still need another $19,000. The bank followed up the sponsorship announcement with a challenge to other local businesses to follow their lead by contributing to the fireworks fund and helping the two organizations to present the community display.

“We believe in our community and the traditions we all share,” said Dennis S. Hudson, III, Seacoast National Bank Chief Executive Officer. “We are proud to support this family-filled occasion and we are able to do so because our community has believed in us. That is what has made this such a great place to live and work. We hope everyone enjoys the fireworks.”

The event, which costs over $40,000 to present, has traditionally been funded 100-percent by private contributions and sponsorships, however the loss of several major contributors has left the organizations scrambling to find funds. “Even with this extremely generous contribution from Seacoast, we are still in the hole,” said Stuart Main Street Manager, Thondra Lanese. “It is going to take broad-based support from across the community to reach our fundraising goal.” Contributions should be made payable to Stuart Main Street Fireworks and mailed to P.O. Box 3035, Stuart, FL 34995.

Despite the budget shortfall, Stuart Main Street and the Downtown Business Association have planned a traditional July 4th festival with children’s activities, military displays, vendors, live music, and more starting at 5:00 p.m. and lasting through Martin County’s ONLY Fourth of July fireworks display. With the Old Roosevelt Bridge closed for maintenance, organizers expect over five-thousand attendees in the park. Tickets for premium viewing from the VIP lounge at the Lyric Flagler Center are also available from the Lyric Theatre Box Office or online at http://www.lyrictheatre.com/show/3397-star-spangled-stuart-vip-access. All proceeds go to offset the cost of the event.

This year’s celebration is coordinated by Stuart Main Street and the Historic Stuart Downtown Business Association. In addition to presenting sponsor Seacoast National Bank, donations have been made by Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers, Southern Eagle Distributing, The City of Stuart and the Stuart Community Redevelopment Agency, Ferreira Construction, Creative Fireworks, Mulligan’s Beach House Restaurant, and others.

 The Stuart Downtown Business Association (DBA) formed to market the shops, galleries, restaurants, and professional businesses of Stuart’s Historic Downtown and the surrounding areas. The group advocates for business owners and promotes a positive image of the downtown business district as a unique alternative to “cookie cutter” mall shopping through marketing, events, and other promotions. The DBA meets the fourth Wednesday of every month at 8:00 a.m. in the City Hall Chambers at 121 SW Flagler Avenue, Stuart. For more information, visit www.historicdowntownstuart.com.

 Stuart Main Street is a historic preservation-based program dedicated to building a healthy, vital downtown area through community self-reliance and a focus on the downtown’s traditional assets: personal service, local ownership, unique architecture, and sense of community. Formed in 1987, the group follows the Main Street Four-Point Approach® as established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center and practiced in over 1600 communities across the country. Stuart Main Street meets the second Tuesday of every month at 4:30 p.m. in the City Hall Chambers at 121 SW Flagler Avenue, Stuart. For more information, visit stuartmainstreet.org or call 772-286-2848.