MATTHEWS – It’s a record breaking year in the history of Matthews Alive, the festival which this year attracted thousands of people Labor Day weekend and more than 2,200 volunteers from area nonprofits.
Festival officials announced Monday night, Oct. 28, at the Matthews Board of Commissioners meeting that this year’s festival brought in more than $91,000 to be distributed among local non-profit groups that donated volunteers and time to help make the 2013 festival a success.
It’s the largest payout in the event’s 21-year history, Lee Anne Moore, the festival’s executive director, said. She credits much of this year’s festival success to good weather, a larger footprint with the festival spreading to Griffin Square and new level of entertainment – something that couldn’t have happened without extra tourism dollars awarded to the festival from the Matthews board. Last spring, the board approved a $45,000 funding request for the event – more than triple the amount the town gave in 2011.
“We’ve talked a lot about how on earth we brought in so much money (this year). I think it was probably a lot of things, starting with a new energy on the board. Where there is a lot of good internal energy, it works its way into what we are doing,” Moore said.
For any given year, Moore said the Matthews Alive board typically expects to bring in around $60,000 to $70,000 through sales of food, carnival rides, games, food vendor and craft booth rentals, souvenir sales and more and typically pays out about $1,000 to $2,000 to more than 35 nonprofits. This year, Moore, said, nonprofits were able to get a bit of a bonus, with most groups taking home “well over $2,000,” she said. All of the event’s proceeds are awarded to the nonprofits.
Now, with the expectations set high, Moore said the board has already started working on next year’s event and currently is in the process of working with an entertainment agency to secure national level bands to perform.
This year’s event featured performing artists The Embers, BOSTYX and Restless Heart. For the success of future festivals, Moore said she, along with the board, is working hard to keep the festival fresh and new – without lowering expectations.
“I think that’s key: not lowering expectations there. That’s a biggie,” Moore said. “I take funding the town gives us really seriously. We have to start early and be really thoughtful and really careful in our resources.”
The following nonprofits received a payout this year:
Blessed Assurance Adult Day Care; Boy Scout of America Packs 214 and 46, and Troops 164, 174, 39, 46 and 502; Butler High volleyball team, lacrosse boosters, band boosters, band, Key Club and football boosters; Candlewyck Baptist Church; Christ Our Shepherd; Covenant Day Booster Club; Crestdale Middle School PTO; Cross and Crown Lutheran Church; East Mecklenburg High band boosters and band; First Baptist Church; Girl Scouts Mecklenburg 8 Service Unit /Hornets Nest Council; HAWK-Matthews Naturally; Home School Key Club; Levine Senior Center; Matthews United Methodist Church Youth Ministries; Matthews Women’s Center; MSA Softball Association; Socrates Academy Parent Faculty Involvement Association; South Mecklenburg High band boosters; Stingray Aquatics; Venturing Crew 174; Marvin Ridge High band; Sun Valley High band; Providence High band, Independence High band and the Greenville Step Band.