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Soifer family and Nikki Barth

The Soifer family (from left) – Scott, Lisa, Ross, and Theodore (daughter Vivian was unable to attend) – were at the Independence McDonald’s restaurant this week to present Chamber Director Nikki Barth the $10,000 donation for a July 4 fireworks program.

INDEPENDENCE – The Fourth of July is a very special holiday for the Soifer family. Scott and Lisa Soifer and their young family would come to Independence for the parade, then return to their home in Charles City for the fireworks.

Scott is the second generation of his family to operate McDonald’s restaurants, including the Independence franchise, which relocated to 2339 Jamestown Avenue in November 2019. While many businesses were shut down or impacted negatively by the coronavirus, the Soifers’ restaurants were able to adjust and be open.

When they heard the July 4 festivities in Independence were cancelled, they decided to step up and donate $10,000 for a fireworks program.

When first contacted by the Soifers, Independence Area Chamber of Commerce Director Nikki Barth could not believe it. Within 24 hours, she was able to arrange for a pyrotechnician (Scott Anderson of Brandon) and a location (the former Monsanto ground at 2332 Henley Avenue now owned by Elliott and Allison Henderson). The final piece fell into place Monday evening when the Independence City Council approved the event.

The fireworks program will begin at 9:45 p.m. on Saturday, July 4. There will be no ground displays. Everything will be shot into the air and be visible for miles around.

The roads adjacent to the property will have restricted access for safety and first responders. 232nd Street between Henley Avenue and MHI will be closed to the public. The MHI campus will be closed to vehicles, and parking will be limited to accommodate the staff and the evening shift change. The general public may park at other locations and walk across the MHI grounds, but the best views are anticipated to be away from the areas with buildings and tall trees.

Patriotic music will be playing on local radio station 95.3 KQMG during the fireworks. The Independence Area Chamber of Commerce will be livestreaming the event at www.facebook.com/indeecommerce.

Barth extended her gratitude on behalf of the community to the Soifer family, who are also sponsoring the Charles City fireworks this year. She also appreciates the Henderson family for their generosity, and the cooperation of the city of Independence, state and local law enforcement, and the Independence Fire Department. Special thanks are also extended to KQMG and Life Master Pyrotechnician Scott Anderson.

Volunteers Needed

But like so many community events, a few volunteers will be needed.

The chamber is requesting three to five volunteers to help from 5:45 p.m. until after the show. Please contact the chamber at 319-334-7178 if interested.

No matter where you enjoy the fireworks, the chamber encourages you to watch safely. And please observe social distancing guidelines.