GALLATIN, Tenn. – Residents in Gallatin had to suddenly go elsewhere to see fireworks Monday night after the pyrotechnic company hired by the city never showed up.
The non-profit Faces of Hope, which provides therapy to kids with autism, stepped up to help the city fund the annual fireworks show set for 9 p.m. at the Gallatin Civic Center.
Both the charity and Gallatin Mayor Joann Graves told Nashville's News 2 the pyrotechnic company hired, Southeastern Pyrotechnics, took their money and disappeared.
The show was cancelled at 7:30 p.m.
“I think it is despicable for a company to do this,” Graves said, “especially to a non-profit organization that works so hard to help special needs children.”
Founder of Faces of Hope Leslie Face-Lee added, “It did a lot of damage, it wasn't just the $2,000 we put down on the fireworks, it was how is this [going to] impact us in the future [and] in ways we don't even know. I'm sad because this is our big fundraiser and it hurt us not just last night, but next year.´
According to Face-Lee, the non-profit organization signed a contract for $9,000 for the event and had previously paid half of the balance.
“The intent of last night was to raise some much needed capital so we can continue to provide the services that don't generate revenue and that didn't happen,” Face-Lee said, adding, “If we don't raise money for these services, they just don't happen.”
The founder of the non-profit organization told Nashville's News 2 she will likely file a police report with Gallatin police.
“I don't understand how someone can enter into a contract like that, take money, tell you they're [going to] be there and just not show up,” Face-Lee said.
Residents have since taken to Southeastern Pyrotechnics' Facebook pageto voice their displeasure with the Charleston, South Carolina-based company.
In one post, a resident writes, “I wish someone from this company could watch me wipe the tears from my son's eyes tonight when I had to explain that we wouldn't see a fireworks show this year. Southeastern Pyrotechnics owes the community of Gallatin, TN and especially Faces of Hope a huge apology. This town deserves a free show soon.”
“You guys better have a day job, because your fireworking days are over,” another writes.
“Wow. Way to ruin a 4th of July for THOUSANDS of people,” writes a third.
Calls made to Southeastern Pyrotechnic from Nashville's News 2 were not returned on Tuesday.