Native Paraguayan Vows To Keep Glen Ellyn's Fourth of July Alive
Even though this Glen Ellyn resident grew up in Paraguay, she has a special connection to the Fourth of July and wants residents to donate to keep the free events.
On the Fourth of July every year, Elizabeth List waited in the winter's cold to celebrate her father's heritage. As a young girl, growing up in Paraguay, List and her two siblings waited in a long line outside the US Embassy, waiting for warm donuts and hot chocolate, which began to define the holiday for her as a young child.
After making it inside the huge property, reinforced with steel bars, List's father, an American living abroad, would show his children how to place their hands over their hearts as the national anthem was played.
"I definitely felt a lot of pride being American," said List. "We definitely knew who we were."
Now, as an adult living in America, List wants everyone to be able to experience the magic of celebrating Independence Day, especially in Glen Ellyn. List enjoyed the merriment that came with her father's beloved holiday but living abroad during the 80s wasn't easy.
She wasn't allowed to participate as a cheerleader in the Paraguayan's Independence Day because she was viewed as solely American, even though her mother grew up in Paraguay and attended the same schools she did.
Since Fourth of July has always held a special place in her heart, it's even more special now that she celebrates in America. It's that sense of pride that compels her to help raise funds for Glen Ellyn's Fourth of July events, and especially the fireworks.
List explained many people don't realize how much these events cost.
List, who recently moved to Glen Ellyn, explained that budgets in other municipalities are so constrained that most have nixed the yearly fireworks and celebrations. Glen Ellyn's Independence Day celebrations have been funded by donations, but List said the group is in need of donations to keep the annual event alive.
List is encouraging residents to send in donations or attend the June 30 fundraising picnic from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Now that Elizabeth List is a Glen Ellyn resident, she wants to make sure there are enough funds to continue one of Glen Ellyn's, and America's most cherished holidays.
Last year, the Fourth fundraising group fell short and tapped into savings that were built up over time, said Jim Rasins, treasurer for the fundraising group.
Rasins said the parade typically costs $13,000 and the contract cost for fireworks is $18,500 this year. But Rasins isn't worried about residents contributing to the beloved Glen Ellyn event.
"They always step up, and for that we are forever grateful."
For more information on donating, click here.