“Thanks for the memories!”
That’s the sentiment, and the thematic, of the 2022 Royal Campaign of Fantasy Fest, which will be the last to benefit A.H. of Monroe County (AH).
The AH Board made the decision Friday, May 27th to return the Campaign to the Tourism Development Association (TDA), who will choose a new direction for the King & Queen Campaign in 2023.
“The event itself is not concluding after this year,” stated Scott Pridgen, AH Executive Director/CEO, “and we also want to ensure no one misinterprets this as a conclusion to Fantasy Fest. That’s why we chose ‘Thanks For The Memories’. Our gratitude stretches across decades of Royal fundraising. This only alters who benefits from the Royal Campaign.”
“What an amazing partnership we have shared…and a legacy for the A.H. of Monroe County organization…and all who have run and been crowned Fantasy Fest Royalty!” TDA Board director Diane Schmidt remarked.
“We’re quite proud that the Agency has become more self-sustaining. It’s only fair that, next year and going forward, another worthy organization reaps the many rewards of this over-the-top fundraiser,” offered AH Board of Directors President Rebecca Balcer.
Since 1989, the Royal Campaign fundraiser (more commonly known as the King and Queen Campaign) also promoted awareness for those infected with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS, as well as the Agency’s programs like housing and emergency services.
Why now the change? It’s been suggested in the last couple years, but pandemic event closures placed any resolution on-hold. But even those years offered hints of how it could evolve, including the involvement of other local nonprofits in the ‘Community Wins!’ pivot staged in 2020.
“Our Board felt the honorable exit strategy was to announce our intention before Candidate Informational Sessions and not after The Royal Coronation,” Pridgen explained. “Everyone loves a TV series finale. This way, our rockstar Candidates and everyone who came before can go out in style.”
Christopher Elwell, Board member and himself King of Fantasy Fest 2010, also adds that “the legacy continues. Our Royal Family, which we call ROQK (‘Royal Order of Queens and Kings’) will continue to promote local philanthropy in their visibility.”
The Florida Keys Council of the Arts is pleased to announce the application for Tourist Development Council Cultural Umbrella event funding is now available. The application and instructions are located online at www.keysarts.com
Cultural Umbrella funding is used only for the advertising and promotion of cultural events taking place between October 1, 2022 and September 30, 2023. These funds are available to support arts / cultural events such as concerts, plays, seminars, festivals, exhibits, etc.
The deadline for submitting the application electronically is Wednesday, April 20th at 5 p.m., with an advance draft application deadline of April 13th. Applications will be reviewed by the Cultural Umbrella committee on May 17th, and their recommendations for funding will be forwarded to the TDC and BOCC for final approval.
The Cultural Umbrella Committee is honored to have a new chair, Michelle Nicole Lowe, who has served on the committee for several years, alongside Cliff Stutts, Trish Hintze, Nancy Bunch and we also welcome new member Scott Burau.
The Cultural Umbrella Committee functions as an Advisory Committee to the Tourist Development Council. The Florida Keys Council of the Arts provides administrative support for the Cultural Umbrella Committee, and guidance to the applicants for Cultural Umbrella funding.
For more information, call Liz Young at 305-295-4369; or e-mail email@example.com
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