“The King of Fireworks.”The fireworks business has been in our family for generations, as early as the 1940s when the patriarch of the family began buying packs of firecrackers and then reselling firecrackers by the piece. He would unravel a whole pack and walk around selling. Then suddenly, the young entrepreneur began noticing people looking for him — he began traveling all over seeking the best quality fireworks that money could buy. The business kept expanding with more and more customers seeking him out, he then became known as “The King of Fireworks.” After realizing his passion, he began going to China searching for the newest and highest quality fireworks ever exported to the United States. Along the way he made many friends in the same business with the same passion and found himself with a great opportunity: not only could he import his own fireworks, but could buy some of the better known exclusive labels domestically. He took pride in what he accomplished but never realized the best was yet to come. Growing up in the business was always exciting. After a while, you begin to have your own thoughts and dreams of one day being able to see the delight on the faces of those you serve. Who would have thought there were so many people who enjoyed fireworks as much as you?
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, July 4 Ever sought to legislatively change the firework laws of New York. There was one individual person whom I met along the way who simply wanted to enjoy the right to shoot fireworks in his own backyard. He truly began to inspire us to work together and somehow get this done. His name is Rich Tolker, a teacher with a passion for fireworks. We began to write letters to representatives of our state and some 16 years later the dream became a reality. Sadly, Rich passed away shortly before the bill was signed into law but his dream lives on through others, and we personally thank him for all his hard work and dedication.
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