by Kirby Lindsay, posted 1 August 2012
On July 25th, the Fremont Chamber of Commerce held its monthly Board Meeting with plenty of projects, programs and promotions to discuss. The gathering of local business owners/managers also heard updates on the Fremont Fair and the Fremont Oktoberfest, in September, two fundraisers produced for the Chamber by Bold Hat Productions.
However, among all the reports, requests and responses, three items stood out as having the most long-term impact on our community…
Community Grant Distribution
The Fremont Chamber earmarks profits from Oktoberfest, and the Fremont Fair (when there are any), to a community grants/sponsorship program. Twice a year, the Chamber accepts applications for projects that will either take place in Fremont, or profoundly affect this community.
For the mid-year distribution (applications will be accepted again in December for distribution in January 2013,) the Board approved recommendations made by the Grants Committee. The Board also agreed to distribute the higher amounts recommended – and did so, in part, based on recent revenue increases from membership payments.
The July 2012 recipients are:
- Fremont Abbey Arts Center – for the Local Arts/Local Food program – $1000
- Wallingford Boys & Girls Club – for Halloween Hoopla – $1000
- Fremont Arts Council – for maintenance work on the SPACE art installation – $1000
- Moisture Festival – for sponsorship – $1000
These amounts were added to a $500 grant approved in June for the Seattle Police Foundation and the Picnics At The Precincts program. The Board further approved a policy change, suggested by the Grants Committee, to request follow-up information from all recipients starting in January 2013. A follow-up report given approximately six months after the distribution, was discussed by the Board, to learn how the program, project or picnic went, or didn’t. Discussion described the requested reports as very casual in nature – photos, a 1-page run-down, or a brief e-mail would all be adequate.
Solstice Parade (and Fremont Fair) 2013 Date
Phil Megenhardt, with Bold Hat, gave a verbal report on the success of the 2012 Fremont Fair. Megenhardt described, “our marketing message is shopping, shopping, shopping,” at the Fair, and they had 353 vendors. He thought the quality of the vendors looked good, but they did discover that each year 65% of vendors are first-timers.
Bold Hat also struggled to get the media message about the Fair to go beyond the naked cyclists. At this, Board members shared complaints – with Megenhardt and Rodman Miller, Fremont Arts Council Board President and Chamber Board Member (also present) about the naked cyclists, riding before the Solstice Parade, circling around and around, and becoming boring!
Discussion did shift to the date for 2013, particularly for the Solstice Parade which takes place, held traditionally on the Saturday of the Fair. The Fair has followed Father’s Day (the third Sunday in June, in 2013 it is June 16th) and/or the solstice (the 20th or 21st of June – according to Wikipedia, the 2013 solstice is 5:04a on June 21st.)
In 2013, these dates diverge and fall on different weekends. According to Megenhardt, City of Seattle Special Events Committee Chairperson, Joanne Orsucci said that the City will not support, in 2013, moving the Fremont Fair to the fourth weekend – to follow the solstice.
This means the Fair, and the Solstice Parade, will take place on June 15th & 16th – nearly a full week before the summer solstice. In 2013, the Solstice Parade will celebrate its 25th Anniversary. Yet, without City support the Solstice Parade (and the Fair) cannot get permits, police protection or street closures.
One reason the City may pull support if the Fair and Parade moved to the fourth weekend in June is that the Seattle Pride Festival traditionally takes place on the fourth weekend, and the Rock-N-Roll Marathon has already announced its date for 2013 as the morning of June 22nd.
Ready For the Universe Classic Whiffleball Tournament?
Chamber President Ken Saunderson brought the welcome news that Frank Costa at Adobe Systems has agreed to organize a community-wide whiffle ball tournament to benefit the B.F. Day Playground Improvement Project, on the mornings of September 8th & 9th – at the upper playfields at B.F. Day Elementary School.
The tournament will be called the Universe Classic, and teams can be a minimum of 6 people. The top 8 teams from play on September 8th will participate in the playoffs on September 9th. Registration for a team will cost $250, with the money coming from team members – or Fremont businesses that would like to sponsor a team. With only 10 teams, the tournament can break even, but organizers hope to see 20 teams involved (at Adobe, the company has 14 teams that play each other each summer.) “I think it could be an absolute hoot!,” pronounced Saunderson, with enthusiastic agreement from the Chamber Board.
After a brief review of vacancies (possibly two) on the Board, those positions up for elections in November, and the need for recruits – especially among local retailers – the Board adjourned. For more information about the Chamber, and what being on the Board entails, attend an upcoming Board meeting on the last Wednesday of each month, at 8a at History House.
Consider sitting in on August 29th, as the meetings are always open-to-the-public and often feature tasty treats from PCC Natural Markets, and always contain more interesting information than can be detailed here…
- FCC Highlight Reel: Discussions Of Everything From Membership To Whiffle Ball
- by Kirby Lindsay, July 4, 2012
- Bringing SPACE To Fremont
- by Kirby Lindsay, August 24, 2006 in the North Seattle Herald-Outlook
- FCC Highlight Reel: A New Year With New Opportunities & New Challenges
- by Kirby Lindsay, February 1, 2012
©2012 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.