Sound Off: Festival income continues to rise

  • Saturday, September 1, 2007 3:00pm
  • Opinion

The Coupeville Arts and Crafts Festival is proud to announce another successful year in raising funds for our community. We even exceeded our income from last year’s festival!

In preparation for the second full weekend of August, over 100 volunteers work on various committees to organize the largest event on Whidbey Island. They work tirelessly to make sure vendors and festival shoppers have a great time while they are in Coupeville. In addition to our regular volunteers, we were very grateful to have the assistance of U.S. Navy personnel from the Fleet Readiness Center Northwest.

It’s a major task to set up a festival in a small town. Some preparation is done a couple of days before the festival, but the bulk of it is done after close of business on Friday evening. The town comes alive with the energy of the volunteers, vendors arriving, the entertainment stage being set up, the children’s activity tent being staked out, parking area roped off, food vendors arriving, tents going up in the Artists-in-Action area and the opening of the Art Gallery Show and Wine Reception.

The following Monday morning, volunteers are out once again, and by mid to late morning, you’d never know there had been thousands of people in Coupeville that weekend!

Thank you to all of our volunteers, whether you worked one hour or dozens of hours; your contribution is appreciated more than you know. If you get a chance to come to our Grant Awards night in December, you will see the gratitude of those receiving money that you have helped to raise.

Thank you to the town of Coupeville (Mayor Conard and maintenance staff), Coupeville police, Coupeville merchants, Craig Platt and Mimi Buescher and Dr. Hansen for the use of their properties, Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue, Christopher’s Restaurant, CHS Honor Society, Coupeville Arts Center and CHS History Day students. Their cooperation is crucial to making the festival a success each year.

Thank you to our sponsors who make an enormous impact on the amount of money we have to give away. They are Comcast, Alaska Federal Credit Union, Whidbey Telecom, Millennium Digital Cable, Whidbey Island Bank, Prairie Center Red Apple, Whidbey Coffee Company, Vince Mackel Custom Flags & Banners, WSU Extension Office, Bayleaf, The Cove Restaurant, Whidbey Island Winery, Branch Business Services and Big Rock Designs. Please patronize these very generous businesses.

The net proceeds of this event are granted back to our community. In each of the last five years, we have given back $25,000 to $30,000, which includes $4,000 in scholarship money.

We are always accepting volunteers for short and long term committee projects. If you have interests in entertainment and/or the arts, we can use your help. We work all year on various tasks so it’s never too early to call and get involved! We also appreciate the opportunity for hearing feedback. To contact us, please call 360-678-5116 or visit www.coupevilleartsandcraftsfestival.org for additional contact information.

Thank you Coupeville, thank you Whidbey Island!

“What people do for themselves dies with them – what people do for their community, lives on forever.”

Anne M. Hallam is president of the Coupeville Festival Association.

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