American Pyrotechnics

Safety & Education Foundation



        Smoke Signals 

          Fireworks Safety & Education News

           November 2014

Michael Ingram, President
Kevin Gilfillan, Vice President
Brandy Bargelt, Secretary

Amanda Cameron, Treasurer

Signaling Safety & Education

Concerned about the marked increase in fireworks related injuries over the past few years, a new charitable foundation has been established to focus on creating fireworks safety education programs for youth, targeting grades K-12.

The officers of the American Pyrotechnics Safety & Education Foundation believe it is critical to the success of the foundation to keep its supporters updated on the activities & programs their dollars make possible.  To that end, a short, quarterly newsletter entitled Smoke Signals has been created to keep supporters up-to-date on the foundation's latest efforts to promote fireworks safety & education.

Auction Success - Thank You!

The foundation held its inaugural fundraising event at APA's annual convention in Miami, Florida in early October and the evening was one to remember.  Members of the association's Next Generation APA committee (NGAP) organized and ran the activities which included a wine toss, spa raffle and dessert dash -- all designed to raise cash for the foundation.  Auctioneer extraordinaire Chester Davis took bids from the over 250 people in attendance who enjoyed a fun-filled night capped off by a signature fireworks display by Walt Disney Entertainment. 

Huge THANKS are extended to all those who helped make the foundation's inaugural event such a resounding success,   especially the generous members who donated auction items ranging from a customized fireworks themed guitar to an exclusive Kentucky Derby package.  NGAP members, who contributed countless hours planning and executing the evening's festivities, deserve special applause.  Most of all, sincere gratitude extended to all those who attended the event, participated in the activities, and bid on the fabulous items.  The outpouring of support from APA members has been a tremendous jumpstart for the Foundation and its future accomplishments.

    Ryder Truck Rental presents its generous $3,000  donation. 

Former CPSC Chair Tenenbaum to Join Foundation Team

We are excited to report that the APSEF Board has approved retaining former Chair of the CPSC Inez Tenenbaum to spearhead the development and distribution of age appropriate curriculum and resources to teach young people more about consumer and display fireworks.  The purpose behind this educational effort is to instill in young people an understanding of how fireworks should be used appropriately, discourage misuse, and decrease the number of fireworks related injuries in the U.S.  We're excited to have Ms. Tenenbaum, and the expertise & enthusiasm she brings, join the cause of promoting fireworks safety.  Read more about Ms. Tenenbaum here.


 Foundation Board and Advisory Group Named

The following have been appointed to serve on the foundation Board of the Directors:

Officers:   Michael Ingram, Fireworks Over America (President) 
                  Kevin Gilfillan, Pyro Spectaculars (Vice President) 
                  Brandy Bargelt, Thunder Fireworks (Secretary) 
                  Amanda Cameron, Pyro Planet Ltd. (Treasurer)

At Large:   Dr. John Conkling                     Kurt Cowgill, North Central Industries
                   Tad Trout, TNT Fireworks         Stephen Vitale, Pyrotecnico
                   Ron Zoldan, B.J. Alan Co.

Advisors:  Julie Heckman, APA                  John Rogers, AFSL

Additionally, an Advisory Group has been named and assigned the initial responsibility of assisting with the development of education curriculum & resource development to teach young people more about display and consumer fireworks.  They include:

Shane Cameron, Pyro Planet, Ltd.                        Lauren Collar, Winco Fireworks
Kristy Hunnewell, Galaxy Fireworks                      David Lynch, Lynch Imports

Still Time to Donate

Please consider lending your support to the new American Pyrotechnics Safety & Education Foundation before the end of the year.  A donation form can be accessed here and remember, your contribution is tax deductible!


APSEF | 7910 Woodmont Ave., Suite 1220 | Bethesda, MD  20814