Star City Parade threatened by budget cuts

                                                                                                                                  

City Budget Cuts Impact Parade and Events Group 

Mayor Chris Beutler made the announcement this morning that the City portion of funding for the Star City Holiday Parade has been cut from the 2010-11 City budget. 

GOLincolnGO (formerly Updowntowners) has produced the Star City Holiday Parade in cooperation with the City of Lincoln and Downtown Lincoln Association since 1985. The organization understands the budget realities the city is facing and the difficult decisions that needed to be made based on priorities expressed to date. 

At the same time, these decisions have put the GOLincolnGO organization in a difficult financial position. GO! strongly believes that its events have a significant impact on the Lincoln community, quality of life, local businesses and tourism. 

The local economy has caused GOLincolnGO many challenges in event production over the last few years. The organization is approximately 90% privately funded and relies on event revenue, sponsorships and grant funding for its ongoing operations. Poor attendance at recent events, the loss of a significant grant, as well as a major sponsor due to a business buyout and losing the city financial support for the Star City Holiday Parade means that GO! is no longer in a position to produce festivals without a significant financial contribution from the private sector and citizens of this community. 

GO! has had to raise approximately $200,000 in cash and in-kind sponsorships annually in addition to the City's contribution to produce the Star City Holiday Parade.  The elimination of City support means that the organization would have to increase its fundraising by a factor of 50% or more. 

“With the current financial conditions of our organization, we are no longer able to produce the Star City Holiday Parade,” said Katie Tauer, GOLincolnGO Board of Directors President. “The Board of Directors is re-evaluating what this community values and what the private sector is willing to sponsor. If you believe festivals and events are a vital part of this community then we are asking for your financial support.” 

GOLincolnGO is at a cross roads. The organization has been producing events for this community for 26 years, with notable impacts to the members of this community, and travel and tourism. These events include; the Star City Holiday Parade, Celebrate Lincoln, July Jamm and the Downtown Performance Series.  “We have a large group of experienced volunteers and sponsors that are dedicated and passionate about producing events for this community,” said Tauer. “We would love to continue to be the producers of these festivals and assist in utilizing the upcoming Union Plaza, and arena event space to their fullest potential.” 

GOLincolnGO accrues more than half a million dollars in event production expenses on a yearly basis. However, in terms of guaranteed annual support, the organization has received approximately $58,000 in cash financial support from the City of Lincoln and the Downtown Lincoln Association. GOLincolnGO is in the unique situation where they produce their large scale events primarily with volunteer leadership and labor, and with private sponsorship dollars. 

If you would like to contribute to the GOLincolnGO organization please make your contribution to GOLincolnGO, 206 S. 13th Street, Ste. 101  Lincoln, NE  68508.  Tax deductible contributions can be made to the Downtown Lincoln Foundation. 

Please visit www.golincolngo.com for additional information about the organization.

 

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GOLIncolnGO is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization that exists to enhance the social, cultural and economic vitality of Downtown Lincoln through the production of special events.