DID YOU KNOW?
Each year since 2013, hundreds of people have gathered in Felix Street Square on the first Saturday in December, for a homegrown holiday event that features hot cocoa, activities for kids, horse and carriage rides, holiday music, and everyone's favorite -- Santa Claus! And each year the volunteers who organize this completely FREE community event, make the park glow as best as they can... but just for one day.
My dream is that, with the support of the City of St. Joseph and citizens like YOU, we can have a dedicated, holiday tree in Felix Street Square this year, and every year!
My goal is to work with volunteers and City staff to coordinate an official decoration plan for Felix Street Square in 2018.
What I'm asking from YOU, is your assistance in purchasing this 25' lit tree that can be donated to the City and installed in the Square each year.
The tree is a 25' garland pop-up tree with lights and a 36" tree topper.
Its price is $5,700.
I am a local citizen and business owner. I approached the City Council on Monday, September 10, 2018, requesting assistance in decorating Felix Street Square for the 2018 holiday season. My request was on behalf of all downtown business owners, downtown advocates, volunteers, and of course, St. Joseph citizens and their families. Video of the original request to the Council can be viewed here, at 2:08:00: http://www.stjoemo.info/Index.aspx?NID=450
I am now pursuing work with City officials to hopefully coordinate enough funds to a) purchase a large, commercial-grade holiday tree that can be used in Felix Street Square for years to come b) decorate the gazebo in Felix Street Square with the assistance of City Staff, and c) hopefully source other donations from the community or local businesses to add more lights in the square.
UPDATE: A grant application was submitted to the City, for an additional $10,000 in funding from the Transient Guest Sales Tax, (aka "the hotel-motel tax"). The request is for funds to be channeled through the City Parks and Recreation department to purchase additional lights for the gazebo and surrounding park trees in 2018 and future years. (If this grant is approved, and the community tree go-fund-me is goal met, this would total over $15,000 in lights and holiday decor for Felix Street Square!... to be used this year and for years to come!)
The resolution is scheduled to be addressed by City Council on Monday, October 8th.
While details have not been finalized, the response of City council and staff to date have been very positive!
My hope is that the community's show of support for the tree will create an annual tradition of partnership between the City and volunteers to make Felix Street Square shine EVERY YEAR!
THIS SEEMS REALLY PRICEY FOR DECOR...WHY IS THIS TREE SO MUCH MONEY?
Quality, durable, large-scale commercial, holiday decor that is of appropriate size for a large city center, and that can withstand the elements to last for many years, is quite expensive! The City of St. Joseph Parks Department has preferred vendors that have consistently provided quality products for the Krug and Hyde park holiday lights projects, and it is the fundraisers' intention to use collected funds to purchase the above tree from one of the City's proven vendors.
Bargain options are certainly available, but the goal is to ensure a quality tree that puts the community's money to good use for years to come.
There is a simultaneous effort to a) source funds through this community fundraiser, AND b) pursue funds from the City for other lighting in the park. This effort has not been finalized and is currently under review of City leadership.
CONSIDERATIONS ON TAXES
Because this is a public fundraiser that is unassociated with a nonprofit, it must be disclosed that your generous donation is unfortunately NOT tax deductible. Thank you for your understanding.
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