Fourth of July Is Cancelled, So Where'd the Money Go?

Not to fear folks, there's always sparklers.
The recession can take our jobs, our dignity and our hopes for a better future for our kids. But our fireworks? That's just salt in the wound.

One Reel, the non-profit that produces Gas Works annual Fourth of July fireworks display, says without a last-minute cash infusion they're going to have to cancel this year's event. In the past, Washington Mutual ponied up the $500,000 it took to keep the skies lit. When JP Morgan Chase took over WaMu in 2008, it promised to extend its commitment to One Reel for a year. That year being last year.

Just because it's not bankrolling a pyrotechnic display, however, doesn't mean Chase has run out of charitable funds to throw around. It just chose to divert them to something a little more high-brow.

Specifically, Seattle Art Museum's landmark Picasso exhibit, of which it's a sponsor.

Funding an art exhibit rather than a crowd-pleasing American custom may seem like a curious move for a retail bank hoping to attract more customers. But it's all part of a $10 million pledge Chase made to the struggling museum last year. A repayment of sorts for the $60 million hole it blew in SAM's budget when it decided not to renew a lease in the expansion tower.

In that instance SAM was saved by Nordstrom, who agreed to take over the space. Hopefully a similarly benevolent intervention can take place between now and July 4. Cuz really, haven't we sacrificed enough?

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