Dear Saint Paul Winter Carnival Supporter,
On behalf of the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation (SPFHF), we would like to express our sincere appreciation for your support of Saint Paul’s favorite events: The Saint Paul Winter Carnival and Cinco de Mayo – West Side Saint Paul. Through the foundation, we support something that connects our community’s history and local businesses together. As our community continues to change, we work hard to evolve and to make sure our legacy events reflect this. Our supporters, volunteers and members are the heart and soul of our foundation. Our volunteer board of directors works tirelessly throughout the year to represent you, and we all know how important it is to celebrate our community.
In these unprecedented times, we need your help to continue the growth of the Saint Paul Festival & Heritage Foundation. The future of events is changing. Before COVID-19, we have watched our expenses continue to rise and pressure on sponsor dollars has increased over the last few years. The event world and what our foundation can produce have changed with the current climate of COVD-19.
Not only will SPFHF see increased regulations and expenses, it will be harder to raise the funds to produce our foundation events. We expect sponsor dollars and budgets to be down because our partners are dealing with the same situations during this shutdown. We don’t know what the rest of the year will bring, never mind the next month, but our CEO and Board of Directors are thinking long-term. They are committed to moving forward with the best intentions for the organization’s mission and purpose.
Below are some updates from the past couple months:
- We have had to postpone not only our annual Cinco de Mayo celebration, but two of our spring fundraising events, Sip & Savor and the Johnnie Walker Scotch Tasting. Combined with the closing of our four gambling establishments, we are looking at a loss to the Foundation of over $60,000 thus far in 2020.
- Due to the Governor’s state shut down directive, our gambling establishments were shuttered.
- Our gambling staff of 18 are currently furloughed until the bars reopen.
- Without our charitable gambling activities due to bar closures, we are expecting to lose in excess of $30,000 in net revenue to the Foundation.
- Monthly expenses to run the Foundation and keep us operating 12 months a year are now close to $15,000 per month (payroll, rent, utilities, accounting, audits, insurance, computers, web site and more)
- We had to make the unfortunate decision to let go of some of our Foundation office staff members. When we had to postpone our April and May events to the Fall, our budget dictated that we needed to cut staff as well.
- We applied for and received a Payroll Protection Assistance (PPP) loan and an EIDL Grant for $10,000. Which is helping cover the salaries of our CEO, Event Coordinator and Gambling Manager through the summer.
- We hosted our first Virtual Live Performance Fundraiser, that raised over $10,000 in early May.
SPFHF has had serious challenges in years past and because of support from our members, sponsors and volunteers, we overcame them. The Saint Paul Winter Carnival has survived 134 years thus far and the members of this Board and our CEO are determined to buckle down to overcome the financial issues before us. We will continue to fulfill our mission to foster a sense of community pride, belonging and connectedness by producing and promoting community education, programs, and festivals, along with other celebrations for the enjoyment of the people of Saint Paul and its surrounding communities. We will keep the Foundation viable for decades to come!
As we head into our 135th year of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, becoming a member will help us create meaningful experiences during this special anniversary year. It is our goal that all people can enjoy our festival activities at no/low cost during our 10-day carnival. Your support is so crucial in fulfilling our mission. Your support is needed now more than ever, to help us regain some of our lost income.
NOW is the time to join or renew your Foundation Membership to allow our CEO and Board to continue their work towards making future events possible. The 135th Coolest Celebration on Earth will not happen without the support of our members. Please take a moment and renew your membership today by visiting our website www.wintercarnival.com and click on “become a member”, complete the enclosed form and mail it with your payment, or Text 44-321 and enter SPFHF. Our fiscal year runs June 1st-May 31st so now is the time!
These are unprecedented times. If you have questions, concerns, or new ideas, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, and we hope everyone stays safe and healthy as we work together through these challenging circumstances.
Don’t forget to like & follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram for more up-to-date details. We look forward to connecting with you over the coming year!
Deb Schaber, President / CEO
Amy Mauzy, SPFHF Board Chair
Kat Christopherson, SPFHF Membership Chair
With the celebration of the Winter Carnival 135th Anniversary, we have created a unique membership level to honor the Anniversary. Members at $135 level or higher will receive this custom member only pin.