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Updated May 28, 2014 - 11:46 am

Prescott gets donation from TV network for July 4 celebration

PHOENIX -- The city of Prescott, Ariz., will be able to spend more money on its Fourth of July celebration this year.

That's thanks to a donation from a national cable television network.

The Destination America channel has a promotion called "Red, White and You."

"We look across America for a deserving town," said the network's general manager, Marc Etkind. "People write in to nominate their favorite town, and we give that town a Fourth of July celebration."

Etkind said Destination America received several letters that nominated Prescott because it is still trying to recover from last year's Yarnell Hill Fire. Nineteen members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots died battling the blaze.

Prescott is one of two towns that will get a donation. The other is Hamtramck, Mich., which has had economic hard times for several years.

Because of the donation, Hamtramck will be able to have a Fourth of July celebration for the first time in 30 years.

Prescott Deputy City Manager Alison Zelms said that her city will put the money to good use.

"We are looking to enhance the musical entertainment and provide a greater array of entertainment for those who come out to the fireworks display," she said.

Zelms said she is not yet able to announce which musical acts will be performing.

Prescott's July Fourth celebration at Pioneer Park will also feature amusement rides. Admission is free, but there will be a charge to go on the rides.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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