Second year of event brings generates higher numbers, more dollars
More than 5,000 people from two counties came out to this year’s Weddstock event, according to numbers provided Monday, Sept. 12. Event planners said they were excited to see everyone out at the festival, which raised money for six groups.
“We knew this was going to be quite a challenge,” Geraldine Davidson said.
All total, the event cost $201,572.92 to hold this year. That was paid for with $168,290 in in-kind donations, with remaining expenses of $33,282.92. During the day, Weddstock officials collected $47,575.73, so they turned a $14,292.81 profit.
Under the agreement reached with the town, after expenses are paid, the first $7500 in profit from sponsorships would go to the charity Kids First. After that, 25 cents of every dollar would go to the town, with the other 75 cents going to Kids First. Additionally, all profit made from wine and beer sales and other collections from the event would go to Kids First.
All total, Weddstock organizers were able to donate $8,991.72 to Kids First of the Carolinas this year. Additionally, $2,907 went to Droplets, a local group that builds wells in Africa. $574 was given to the Weddington High cheerleaders, $500 to the local Girl Scout troop’s French trip, $820 to the local paintball club and $500 to Waddell Middle School for a planned exchange trip.
“To get 5,000 people in one day is quite an accomplishment,” Weddington town council member Werner Thomisser said. “I drove by at 4 p.m thinking I could get in, but traffic was lined up on Providence Road. I came back at 7 p.m and traffic was still backed up. I think this shows the people of Weddington really want a place they can come together and socialize.”
Davidson and others recruited a total of 126 people for the 5k race, which kicked off the event. Because of the problems at the Weddington High School track, with infrastructure crumbling, the group decided to donate proceeds from the race to help fix the track.
“We all have children at track and field at Weddington High School,” Davidson said. “We ended up calling it ‘The Race to Resurface’.”
Davidson said people from ages 3 to 70 showed up, with volunteers from Southbrook Church, parents of Weddington High students and people from Wesley Chapel, Waxhaw, Blakeney, Matthews and Stallings.
“At 11 o’clock on Saturday, I looked at the sea of people, the sea of cars and I was proud to be a resident of Weddington,” group organizer Lisa Stewart said.
Last year, during the inaugural season of the festival, the event was spread out over five Fridays.
The organizing committee expected to cover 25 percent of the costs with cash donations from visitors or product sales. The committee expected to cover the remaining 75 percent with in-kind services, such as volunteer labor or free radio spots. The town council contributed $11,000. This year however, organizers said they learned from the first event and already are coming up with ideas for the next time.
“We’ve had nothing but compliments,” Davidson said. “We had a lot of support, a lot of sponsors out there. It was a lot of work.”
The group hopes to hold a Marine Corps style mud run next year, Davidson said, and offer more activites to give the event more of a county fair feel. Already, five radio stations and two tv stations have signed on to assist with the next one.
“I applaud the effort all the ladies put into this,” council member Jerry McKee said.
Weddington Mayor Nancy Anderson echoed McKee’s response.
“This is what the people of Weddington said they want,” Anderson said. “This is raising money for nonprofits.”