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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington man’s love for his late wife may keep Wilmington from paying extra for this year’s 4th of July fireworks.

Tuesday night City Council will vote on whether to accept a $15,000 donation from Henry Johnston to help pay for the annual Battleship Blast.

The fireworks cost about $30,000. Traditionally, the city budgets $10,000 for the fireworks, with the Battleship North Carolina contributing $5,000 and the remaining $15,000 coming from a title sponsor. In February, the city learned that the title sponsor was dropping out, so in April, the city set aside funding to be used if a new sponsor could not be found.

If Council accepts Johnston’s donation, the money set aside will not be needed for this year’s fireworks.

Johnston founded Johnston Architecture LLP in Wilmington in 1976.

In March, his wife Lorene died after a two-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. They were married for 50 years and were regular attendees of the downtown July 4 celebration. Johnson is making the donation in honor of his late wife.


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