Thieves steal $7K worth of fireworks from Newark stand trying to raise money for children in need

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Saturday, July 2, 2022
Thieves steal $7K worth of fireworks from Newark nonprofit
The Newark Optimist Club's fireworks stand was hit by thieves, who stole $7,000 worth of goods that would have benefited children in need.

NEWARK, Calif. (KGO) -- A less than explosive start to the fourth of July weekend at this fireworks stand on Thornton Avenue in Newark.

Run by the local nonprofit, Newark Optimist Club, the stand sells a variety of fireworks every year.

But on Monday night, the day before they started selling, someone broke into their storage shed and stole about a quarter of their inventory worth about $7,000.

Marla Blowers and her husband, Russ Blowers, help run the stand.

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They tell me the theft has left them devastated.

All of the money they raise this weekend goes to helping disadvantaged and disabled youths in their community.

Money that now, those kids simply won't see.

"Scholarships to Newark Memorial graduating seniors, scholarships to Ohlone College, special-education Christmas party with Santa," Marla said.

But it's not just the immediate impact of the burglary that worries the Blowers, it's also the long-term effects on the budget of their nonprofit organization.

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In addition to the $7,000 lost, the group has also had to spend an additional $1,500 on security.

Guarding what's left of their stock in case the thieves try and strike again.

But despite the hardships, the Blowers say they've also been lifted up by their friends and neighbors.

Many of whom have donated to try and help the group get back the money they lost.

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"Now that I know, definitely I would like to come and shop and see how I can help, whatever best I can do for this community here," said customer Rakesh Kamar.

And no matter what comes their way, Marla says they'll keep moving forward.

Determined to help those most in need.

"If we have to cut back, we have to cut back, but we'll keep doing what we do," Marla said.

If you would like to donate to help the Newark Optimist Club, you can send your donations to the address below:

Marla Blowers

Newark Optimist Club

P.O. Box 402

Newark, CA 94560

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