Microsoft's money saves July 4 fireworks

The software giant and coffee maker Starbucks each chip in $125,000 to keep Seattle's fireworks display from being canceled.

Family 4th at Lake Union 2008 Christopher Nelson

An 11th hour campaign to save Seattle's July 4 fireworks display has succeeded, thanks in large part to $125,000 donations from Microsoft and Starbucks.

Short of a needed $500,000 to run Seattle's annual fireworks display, organizers had feared they would have to cancel this year's July 4 event. However, Microsoft and Starbucks pledged to match a combined $250,000 in donations and, by Friday, other businesses and individuals raised that amount, allowing the event to proceed.

"The show will go on!" Microsoft said Friday on its corporate Twitter account. "Seattle 4th of July fireworks back on thanks to support & donations from the community."

Among the other donors to the event was Paul Allen's Vulcan, according to the Seattle Times.

Although some commentators suggested that there were perhaps more important local projects that could use corporate money, Microsoft said that the fireworks display was an important community event.

"The fireworks on Lake Union are a beloved tradition for Seattle and the region, so we're pleased to join Starbucks in jump-starting this community effort to save the show," Microsoft corporate affairs senior director Karen Bergin said in a statement.

About the author

    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.


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