WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington City Council heard an emotional tribute tonight that thousands will eventually enjoy.
Council voted to accept a $15,000 donation from a Wilmington businessman to make up for losing a title sponsor for the 4th of July fireworks.
Henry Johnston and his wife Lorene were married for nearly 50 years before she died in March. Johnston says they always enjoyed the 4th of July fireworks downtown, so when he heard there was a financial shortfall, he thought this would be a great way to honor his late wife.
“I remembered how much my wife, recently deceased wife, always enjoyed the fireworks,” Johnston said. “If we weren’t in Wilmington, wherever we were we always went to the fireworks, and I thought it was just a wonderful opportunity to sort of give back something to the community.”
Because of Johnston’s gift, the city will only pay its usual $10,000 for the Battleship Blast show, which draws more than 50,000 people downtown. The Battleship North Carolina pays another $5,000.
The City Council has asked Johnston to press the button to kick off the fireworks show.