SPFHF COVID-19 Update

Dear SPFHF members, volunteers, and beyond: 

In these unprecedented times, I wanted to reach out to share that you, your family, friends, and colleagues are in our thoughts. 

We are all concerned and things are changing quickly—each day feels like five news cycles. Our first priority is the health and safety of our staff, visitors, and volunteers. As we navigate through a constantly changing situation, I would like to assure you that we are looking to the future and planning ahead for the latter half of 2020 as well as the 135th Saint Paul Winter Carnival celebration in 2021.  

The future of events is changing. Before COVID, we have watched this happen over the last few years as expenses continue to raise and pressure on sponsor dollars has increased.  The event world and what our foundation can produce have changed with the current climate of COVD-19. 

Not only will we see increased regulations and expenses, it will be harder to raise the funds we need to produce events.  We expect sponsor dollars and budgets to be down because our partners are dealing with the same situations during this shutdown.  We are being smart, hopeful and committed to moving forward.  We don’t know what the rest of the year will bring, never mind the next month but our CEO and Board are thinking long-term about what is best for the organization’s mission and purpose. Below are some updates from the past few weeks:

SPFHF Updates:

  • Our Cinco de Mayo Event has been postponed to what we hope is a date in the Fall, based on the CDC guidelines that came out a few weeks ago. However, we will still be celebrating on Saturday, May 2nd. You can watch last year’s parade on Facebook, see the Virtual Car, Truck & Bike, show presented by Post Consumer Brands and more on our Cinco de Mayo FB page!
  • Sip & Savor Fundraiser will also be postponed until the Fall, in order to create a safe experience for all.
  • With the loss of Cinco de Mayo and Sip & Savor, our year end (May 31st) budget projections are showing a loss.
  • In our slimmest, our monthly expenses – included; rent, insurance, utilities, payroll, etc. Currently, there is no revenue coming in to support these expenses with the postponement of our events.
  • We had to make the unfortunate decision to let go of our two 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.
  • 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. We thank them for their quick response to the Governor’s directive and making sure we were compliant when we had to move quickly to follow the shutdown guidelines.
    • With the bars closed, we are expecting to lose in excess of $30,000 in net revenue to the Foundation without our charitable gambling activities.
  • We are watching the CARES Act information closely and have filled out several applications for funding.
  • Our President & CEO, Deb Schaber, is working remotely as Landmark Center is closed.
  • All SPFHF Board meetings are now held virtually via conference calls. The executive team is meeting once a week as to keep on top of breaking news.

How Can YOU Help?   

  1. Be a member of the SPFHF Foundation:

Now more than ever your support is needed.  Membership dollars and are dedicated to the general operating fund of the Saint Paul Festival & Heritage Foundation. Corporate, family and individual membership support provides for year-round administration and management necessary to ensure the continued growth and success of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival and Cinco de Mayo. Membership runs concurrent with our fiscal year, June 1, 2020 – May 31, 2021.

*If you became a new member in January prior to Carnival, you will need to renew by May 31 to keep your membership current.

NOW is the time to join or renew 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 members.

  1. Give online and attend events:
  • The Sip & Savor Event scheduled for May 22nd has also been postponed and we are moving the event at Landmark Center in early October. Tickets are on sale now!
  • We’ll also be producing a virtual series of special events & happenings throughout the month of May. We are strategizing the details but look to fundraise with special ‘Royal’ guests and VIP sponsors via Zoom, You Tube and our Facebook page.
  • Our SPFHF Golf Tournament is still a go for June 29th. Sign up today or sponsor a hole:
  • Johnny Walker Scotch Tasting & 5 Course Dinner is happening on June 4th at Doubletree Downtown. Register today!:
  • Make a direct donation to the Foundation:
    • https://www.wintercarnival.com/make-a-donation/
  • Volunteer!
    • We are looking for volunteers to join several of our committees; Sip & Savor, Marketing, Fundraising, Virtual Events, Winter Carnival Festival Planning Committee. There are also projects you could work on from home like data entry, stuff mailers, phone calls, etc.   If you are interested in learning more, please email us at info@spfhf.org.

These are unprecedented times. If you have questions, concerns, new ideas, please feel free to contact us at info@spfhf.org. Thank you and we hope everyone stays safe and healthy as we work together through these challenging circumstances.

Amy Mauzy

SPFHF Board Chair