Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Signs from two TNT Fireworks stands, which indicated they benefited non-profit groups, have been removed after a News19 investigation.
"You can be non-profit or you can work for yourself," an employee at one of the for-profit stands explained to News19.
The 'support your local non-profit' signs were incorrectly posted at TNT Fireworks stands at 5420 Forest Drive and 7520 Garners Ferry Road. according to the nation's largest distributor of consumer fireworks.
A spokeswoman for TNT Fireworks told News 19 stand operators should take the "support your local non-profit" signs down if the stand is for-profit.
"It was probably just a flub," a spokeswoman for TNT Fireworks said. "It was something that was a mistake and should not have happened."
"We immediately corrected the mistake and plan to revisit our internal procedures to ensure nonprofit and for-profit operators receive separate promotional materials," TNT Fireworks said in a statement released to News19.
Some of the locations, however, have the signs posted and donate money to charity.
"My wife and I were trying to figure out how we could make some money being a pastor of a small local church," said Robert Snipes, pastor of Christ Family Center. "There were a lot of different things we were trying to do with the youth."
Snipes operates a fireworks stand in both January and July. He expects to raise $2,000 this month that he'll use to fund a 2 week summer bible school.
"At the end of the two weeks, we've taken them skating, in years before we've taken them to Carowinds," said Snipes. "You know when you've got about 50 to 60 young people, and a lot of them come from depressed areas, a lot of them don't have the money to do that."
TNT Fireworks says they raised more than $3 million for non-profits last year.
This year, the company says non-profit groups operate more than 80% of their fireworks stands nationwide.
"Without this fundraiser, we couldn't do a lot of this stuff that we usually do," said Snipes.