As I write this letter, the fireworks in Yachats have just finished. It was a spectacular event. As usual, hundreds of people have enjoyed them. What a lot of people don’t realize is that is not a city or chamber of commerce event. This is an event that has been held together mostly by one single individual, Katherine Guenther.
Here is a little history. Some years ago, Katherine and one or two other individuals did all of the fundraising, planning and assuring that the event took place. After quite a few years, Katherine and one or two of the other people decided that they didn’t want to continue putting in all of the time and effort to continue to provide the event. There were a few people who heard this and said they didn’t want the fireworks tradition to be discontinued. They said that they would take over the job. Unfortunately, they didn’t do that. In February, Katherine realized that those individuals were not going to follow through, and the Yachats fireworks would not happen.
So around February of that year, she took on the responsibility to see that all of the planning continued.
The city would not do it. As a matter of fact, the mayor at that time said the taxes from the budget for visitors’ amenities could not be used because the event wasn’t for visitors. So Katherine made a plan to have individuals contribute to a fund to pay for the fireworks. A local hotel would not provide for rooms for the crew that would provide the fireworks. However, they were gracious enough to provide rooms at a discounted rate.
Fast forward, Yachats has some of the most beautiful fireworks on the Oregon coast. Katherine pretty much does this singlehandedly with the help of Buck Dortch, and with contributions from some large donors, but mostly small contributions from individuals.
Katherine and Buck deserve the appreciation from all of the people who enjoy the Yachats fireworks display. Thank you, Katherine.