PORTLAND – Someone will soon win a 2010 Chevrolet Corvette convertible and help keep Portland’s Fourth of July fireworks sparkling.

The Stars & Stripes Spectacular Corvette Raffle, being held by the Maine Red Claws Foundation to raise money for the fireworks celebration, features a red beauty with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $65,720.

“It’s America’s sports car, and I think everyone at one time has dreamed of owning one,” said Jack Quirk, owner of Quirk Chevrolet, which provided the car to raise money for next year’s fireworks display. “It’s a tradition that should continue. We have so many of our own relatives and neighbors that are halfway around the world serving our country in the military. The least we can do is honor our independence.”

Tickets can be purchased, for $100 each, at the offices of the Maine Red Claws at 413 Congress St.; at Quirk Chevrolet at 1000 Brighton Ave.; online at www.july4thportland.org; or by phone at 210-6655. The drawing will be held at 5 p.m. Sept. 15 at the offices of the Red Claws, an NBA Development League team.

A maximum of 1,000 tickets will be sold, and so far about 500 tickets are gone.

Quirk Chevrolet provided the car at a dealer invoice price of $60,552. Raffle proceeds above that amount will help pay for the annual fireworks show. The 2011 event cost about $140,000.

“We hope to make enough money to see the foundation go forward,” Jennings said. “We want to fund the Fourth of July for many years to come.”

Early in 2010, city budget cuts took away funding for the fireworks, which draw tens of thousands of people.

When that happened, the Red Claws, Wright Express, Quirk Chevrolet and The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram came together to help preserve and expand the community celebration. This year, the group was joined by Bangor Savings Bank.

The 2011 celebration was organized by the July 4th Portland Foundation, a nonprofit group created to privately fund Maine’s largest Independence Day celebration. The foundation was created by Jennings; Quirk; Michael Dubyak, chairman and chief executive officer of Wright Express; and Richard Connor, editor and publisher of The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.

Comedian Bob Marley started the night off this year, followed by the Portland Symphony Orchestra and the fireworks.

Jennings said the foundation has been displaying the car in various locations, hoping that the public, including some of the roughly 70,000 people who attended this year’s show, will want to help support future Independence Day celebrations.

“It’s one of the most beautiful cars I’ve ever seen,” Jennings said. “It has all the amenities you could ever want.”

Staff Writer Ellie Cole can be contacted at 791-6359 or at:

[email protected]