UPDATE: Iowa Fireworks delivers check to veterans - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Iowa Fireworks delivers check to veterans

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KWWL -

UPDATE: Americans for Independent Living has received a $2,400 check from Iowa Fireworks Company. 

Iowa Fireworks Company delivered the check to the organization last Thursday.

Owner of Iowa Fireworks Company Jeremiah Terhark says checks have been delivered to more than 20 non-profits across the state.

"We've wrapped up our first successful season," said Terhark. "Raising tens of thousands of dollars for non-profits across the state."

The money donated to Americans for Independent Living will go towards assisting veterans, including a project to house homeless veterans. 

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Iowa fireworks sales have come and gone. But some are questioning one company that advertised they would be donating a portion of the money they made to veterans. 

Iowa Fireworks Company, who operated a number of tents across the state, advertised with the slogan, "Buy Local, Help Nonprofits. Celebrate Freedom."

One of their tents selling fireworks was stationed along LaPorte Rd. in Waterloo. During their sales, the tent advertised they would be donating a portion of the money they made to veterans. 

In an interview with KWWL, an employee for Iowa Fireworks Company who was working the tent, explained where a portion of the sales profit would go.

"These people are our heroes, why are they homeless?" said an Iowa Fireworks Company employee. "They deserve our respect, our admiration, they deserve our help. And that's what we're here to do so a portion of the proceeds from this tent is going to be donated directly to the Americans for Independent Living who manage the Waterloo transitional veterans homes. "

After firework tent sales were over on July 8th, the tent closed down, and left. 24 days later, and neither Americans for Independent Living nor the Black Hawk County VA received a single penny in donations from Iowa Fireworks Company, which led KWWL to follow the money. 

President of Americans for Independent Living Tim Combs, as well as the Black Hawk County VA Director Kevin Dill said both their organizations did receive calls from a member of the Iowa Fireworks Company tent back in June notifying them of their plans to advertise and donate a portion of their sales. However, since then, neither of them had heard from the company. 

"Organizations do it all the time-they have an idea-they start it off...well how can we generate funds?" said Black Hawk County VA Director Kevin Dill. "How can we generate profit, what can we do? And they always tug on the heart strings of people and it always has to deal with veterans. Because when you say veteran, you say 'homeless veterans,' people open up their checkbook and unfortunately people take advantage of that. And it's unfortunate, it's sad but as far as that group-we haven't received anything-nothing."

KWWL reached out to the owners of Iowa Fireworks Company, asking where the money is. At first, they referred us to their partner and manager of their Waterloo tent Judd Saul.  

"I've been waiting for Iowa Fireworks guys to get caught up on all the accounting so they can issue the checks," said Saul. "So we can give them to the charities. I'd say it's just a back end business thing that we're waiting on-there's nothing ill-will or nothing sleazy going on. It's just we're trying to get all our ducks in a row and everyone's reimbursed for expenses and then we'll start issuing the charity checks."

KWWL later spoke with owner of Iowa Fireworks Company Jeremiah Terhark. Terhark assured KWWL that they would be donating $2,400 to Americans for Independent Living that would go towards veterans. Terhark went on to explain the company has donated tens and thousands of dollars to nonprofits across the state. 

The company says the organization Americans for Independent Living can expect the check within two weeks. They also plan on hosting an event where they will present the checks to the organization. 

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