A Sweet Gesture: Fireworks Shop Brings Ice Cream to Firefighters After Ban Announcement
They didn't have to do it. When Kristina Reynolds and her family, owners of Gillette's Discount Fireworks store, found out that Campbell County officials had banned the sale and usage of fireworks this season, due to the unseasonably high temperatures and potential for wildfires, they could have responded in any number of ways.
As stages of grief go, there's denial, anger, depression, bargaining and then, finally, acceptance. But Discount Fireworks skipped those first four steps and moved right towards acceptance.
"We knew going into the meeting this morning, odds weren't in our favor; the conditions have just been too hot and too dry," Reynolds stated. "Even so, with each 'aye,' it was like a stab to the gut. This is the season our family prepares all year for, and it affects us greatly. Although we have been in business for many years, this is only our second year as owners and we've invested so much heart, time, sweat, and money into making it a great place for our town. Even so, we knew this was the best decision for the safety of our community, so we understood."
Not only did they understand, the Reynolds family actually purchased ice cream for Campbell County firefighters as a 'thank you' for keeping the community safe.
"We wanted them to know that we get it and we are thankful for them," Reynolds said. "They work tirelessly to protect us with little recognition. I know there will be many people upset and lashing out at them for the ban, we wanted them to know we don't blame them."
It was a sweet gesture. It was the right thing to do. But they didn't have to. That's just how Discount Fireworks operates, though. They're a pillar of the community and they know it, which is why they chose to lead by example.
Community is important to the Reynolds family, and the ban on fireworks not only affects their business; it affects what they are able to give back to the community as well.
"We are huge advocates for supporting the youth of our community," Reynolds said. "With us not having a season this year, our means to give back as much just won't be there. We hope everyone can help fill the void and support any local youth they see, even if it's just a simple lemonade stand. They need our support!"
Speaking of support, Reynolds stated that neighboring communities could support their local agencies by remaining safe and vigilant when it comes to setting off fireworks as well.
"My advice to our neighbors would be, stay smart!" Reynolds offered. "If the area is too dry, wait! It's just not worth it. If they do get a season, make sure to keep water nearby and grass mowed, & cooperate with the local law enforcement. Everyone can do their part to keep things safe."
Discount Fireworks is certainly doing their part, even though they're losing the busiest season for their store. Still, Reynolds said, there are other ways to support the fireworks shop.
People can support us by pushing for a possible New Years season, and coming in to shop whenever we are open. Business can be tough for seasonal workers. We will also be going before the city to approve fireworks within city limits for New years, so more people can enjoy them! People can also follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date on news and future seasons."
It was hard for them to hear that their biggest money-making season would be cancelled this year, but the Reynolds family and the team at Discount Fireworks knew that the best way to respond to the news was not with anger or blame. They sell fireworks for a living, so naturally their response would be to spread light. And that's exactly what they did, and what they will continue to do as they remain a vital part of the Campbell County community.
"If I could give one message to our community it would be thank you," Reynolds said. "They have graciously opened their arms to us and we consider them family. Even though it is tough, this is what is best to protect us all. To the firefighters, your devotion doesn't go unnoticed. Stay safe and thank you."