Freedom Fair impresario Doug Miller credits one of our editorials for spurring a new fund drive to keep the Fourth of July extravaganza afloat. But give the Messina Bulzomi Christensen law firm credit for putting some real money down and challenging other professionals and firms to do likewise.
Here’s the press release:
LAW FIRM ISSUES A CHALLENGE TO FUND FREEDOM FAIR
Tacoma, Wash. – The law firm, of Messina Bulzomi Christensen of Tacoma, has helped kick off a fund raising campaign to save and support Tacoma’s annual 4th of July Freedom Fair. The firm donated $200.00 per lawyer in the firm, that’s $1,000.
John Messina said “We also want to challenge every professional person (lawyer, CPA, health care provider, architect, engineer, etc.) in the area to match our donation by at least half that amount. That would be $100 per employee.” He said, “There must be more than 10,000 professionals in the area and if there is even just a $50 average it will bring half a million dollars and help make the celebration even better next year. This is a cherished event and it should be getting the full support of our community.”
Carole Lail, chair of the board of the Tacoma Events Commission (TEC), a community-based and volunteer-driven, non-profit organization that has organized and presented Tacoma’s annual 4th of July celebration for 31 straight years, is excited. Lail says she is hopeful this generous offer kicks off a groundswell of support, similar to the effort that raised $500,000 to save Seattle’s Lake Union fireworks show from cancellation this year.
“Sustaining the Tacoma Freedom Fair, the largest, longest-running, and best attended 4th of July celebration in the Northwest, should be a community priority, she said.” In the face of declining corporate sponsorship, the Tacoma Events Commission implemented a number of programs to bring in critical revenue to keep this beloved community event in the black and provide a solid foundation for building the 2011 the event. Most did not catch on in time to have a positive impact this year.
“The Tacoma Freedom Fair is a million dollar event that is run on about a $250,000 cash budget. We run a huge event on a shoestring budget”, says Doug Miller, Executive Director of the organization. “It is managed with very low overhead so we can apply the dollars to what really makes the event special.”
Lail said, “We only have two part-time paid staff members who work year-round with no benefits; combined with a dedicated board of directors and great volunteers working to present four events in Pierce County each year including the Tacoma Freedom Fair and Air Show”.
Miller added, “We are very grateful for the donations received at the gate this year and last. It is also very inspiring to see donations starting to come in online now that the event is over and supporters can consider what they can do to help. We will post a list of names on our website to show the names of the people and business’ that have responded to this appeal. We encourage the 100,000 or more people who attend this event every year to do business with and thank those who help make your event possible.”