"If we let it go for just one year, we might not be able to use the Loch Raven school fields again," she said.
Not so, according to Baltimore County Schools spokesman Charles Herndon, who said, "The best we can determine is that fireworks organizers would be able to continue even if they don't do the fireworks one year."
But Vallade isn't taking any chances. "Policies change as administrations change," she said.
The foundation's application for 501c3 status is currently pending with the Internal Revenue Service. Unlike contributions to the association, contributions to the foundation will be tax deductible once they receive IRS approval, he said.
Earlier this week, Vallade sent an email enlisting help and donations for the fireworks, to Paul Hartman, president of the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations, who was "more than happy to help," he said. Hartman said he will get the message out to the organization's 30 community associations.
Meanwhile, the foundation is staging a raffle for a $500 prize. Tickets are $2.They can be purchased through Vallade.
The foundation is equally in need of volunteers who would be willing to sell raffle tickets door-to-door, collect donations from local businesses, assist with clean-up and collect donations from spectators at the fireworks on the 4th of July.
Fireworks for Loch Raven began in the 1970s when the owners of the former Luskin's store staged an annual fireworks display on their parking lot of top of Luskin's Hill between Joppa Road and the Beltway. The display was visible for miles, according to Donna Spicer, a former fireworks volunteer and community activist.
Vallade recalls seeing it from her front porch after she moved to the Village 14 years ago.
After Luskin's opted to redevelop the parking lot and withdrew its sponsorship, the display ended up at the technical academy, Loch Raven's middle school, Spicer said. Through the years, various civic groups helped sponsor the fireworks. They included the Loch Raven Community Council, Loch Raven Business Association and the Loch Raven Kiwanis Club.
"We ended up pleading with the association to take it over," Spicer said.
Putting the fireworks display in the care of a foundation should be a big help," Spicer said. "Everybody who goes to watch the fireworks should contribute to keep the tradition going."
"Fireworks and backyard barbecues — it's America and apple pie," Vallade said.
Checks should be made payable to: Loch Raven Fireworks Foundation Inc., P.O. Box 20309, Towson, MD 21284. To contact Leslie Vallade, email email@example.com or call 443-519-9388.