American Pyrotechnics

Safety & Education Foundation



        Smoke Signals 

          Fireworks Safety & Education News

    October 2018

Kevin Gilfillan, President
Jason Trout, Vice President
Herb Chan, Secretary

Kurt Cowgill, Treasurer

We're pleased to provide an update on recent and upcoming efforts of the Foundation, activities made possible through the generous donations of our supporters. 

Foundation Receives Major Backing From Phantom Fireworks

We are pleased to report that the APA's Safety & Education Foundation received a pleasant surprise during this year's Annual Convention in Cleveland. During Wednesday morning's Welcome Breakfast, Ron Zoldan and Jessi Moore of Phantom Fireworks presented Foundation President Kevin Gilfillan, with a check for $110,000, proceeds from a point-of-sales promotion they initiated this past season. The Foundation Board is extremely grateful to Phantom Fireworks for conducting this groundbreaking initiative which will help to perpetuate and expand the foundation's ongoing efforts to educate youth and the general public to #CelebrateSafely with fireworks.

NGAP FUNraiser Rocks Cleveland!

          Jim Souza with Guest Auctioneer Joey Fatone                  Football Legend Jim Brown with Phil & Debbie Grucci

APA's NGAP group of young professionals held a wildly successful fundraiser to benefit the APA's Safety & Education Foundation and they were honored to have Joey Fatone, former member of the boy band NSYNC, as guest auctioneer. Members bid to win one of a host of fabulous prizes donated by APA members, and a few special items donated by Cleveland's own living football legend, Jim Brown who also attended the event. By the time the final bidding closed, over $38,000 was raised and a fun-filled time was had by all. The evening culminated in a signature fireworks display courtesy of American Fireworks and Arthur Rozzi Pyrotechnics. Thank you to APA's NGAP for organizing this fun-filled event as well as to all those who supported their effort either by donating prizes or placing winning bids.

Britton Gallagher Reception Raises Foundation Funds

The Foundation Board wishes to extend its gratitude to APA member Britton-Gallagher for hosting a Welcome to Cleveland reception at their 30th floor offices to begin the association's week in Cleveland. Members mixed and mingled while enjoying food & drink and panoramic views of Cleveland - raising over $6,000 to benefit the Foundation! 

Spreading the Foundation's Safety Message  

One of the Foundation's goals is to cultivate relationships will various industry and affiliated organizations in order to work together toward a common goal of fireworks

To that end, this past August, Kevin Gilfillan, Pyro Spectaculars, Board members Justin Thomas, J&M Displays and Kurt Cowgill, North Central Industries and Brandon Corn, Fireworks Over America promoted the Foundation's activities with members of the Pyrotechnic Guild International (PGI) during their annual convention in Mason City, Iowa. Their interactions generated significant interest among the PGI membership who expressed their desire to develop a partnership with the Foundation. We are pleased that PGI President, Paul Smith & 1st Vice President, Dr. John Steinberg were recently named to the Foundation Board and we are grateful to have their expertise and passion to help guide the Foundation.

Also in August, The Foundation was represented by its Vice President Jason Trout along with his TNT Fireworks colleagues Charles Walker and Jerry Farley at the National Association of State Fire Marshal's Convention in Park City, Utah. They were able to speak with fire marshals from across the country about the APA's efforts including those of the Foundation to promote fireworks education and safety.

In the Bag for Safety a Great Success!  

The Foundation Board would like to extend its sincere thanks to Katherine Guccione at Pyro Novelties, for initiating this year's "In the Bag for Safety" campaign. In its first year, this campaign was successful in distributing over 1 million shopping bags that included the Foundation's Celebrate Safety tips - generating over $2,500 in contributions. Created in partnership with Pyro Novelties, the bags come in two sizes and have a red & blue patriotic theme.

We urge retailers to consider supporting the Foundation in 2019 by ordering their bags early. For very large orders, the bags can be customized to include your company's logo. Want more details, please contact Katherine at [email protected] or visit the Pyro Novelties wholesale website. All bags are made in the USA, so you can avoid the high tariffs associated with importing bags by ordering these bags, too!

 July 4th Efforts to #Celebrate Safely

The Foundation has worked hard to promote the #CelebrateSafely social media hashtag and those efforts have been recognized by the CPSC who adopted the hashtag in their Independence Day social media outreach as well as during their pre-4th of July press conference in Washington, D.C.

The Foundation also published an Independence Day Safety Tips reminder fact sheet featuring Professor Sparkz and made this resource available free-of-charge via its website and social media platforms.


Foundation Website - 

Remember, a host of downloadable educational & safety resources are available free thru the Foundation's website. Be sure to feature a link to on your company's website so that your customers and the general public can easily learn more about fireworks and celebrating safely.

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