We have not stopped!
September 20, 2016
BENEFITING: IQUILT PARTNERSHIP INC
If you've been to the rink in Bushnell Park, you know how special it is. It's everything Hartford wants to be: inclusive, affordable, joyful, and fun.
The Winterfest Skating Rink is a Hartford success story: for the past few years, it has brought families, friends, teens, kids, and adventurers to beautiful Bushnell Park for free skating (with free rentals!). It's simple and it's beautiful. About half of the skaters are from Hartford, and the other half are from surrounding towns and tourists. It's exactly the vision of Hartford we've all been working towards.
Due to cuts in the city's budget, the rink has lost its a significant portion of its funding for 8 weeks of free skating, 7 days a week. The iQuilt Plan, working with its planning group which includes the MetroHartford Alliance, HBID, Businesses for Downtown Hartford, the Bushnell Park Foundation and the City of Hartford, has reduced the budget to $200,000 (for a shorter season), and if we can raise that, we can keep it going one for at least one more winter while we carefully research and plan new funding for this incredible resource.
We know it's a political time and that we all have thoughts and feelings about the budget, Hartford, and local and state politics. This fundraiser is not about that. It's about paying it forward to our fellow citizens who love and use the rink, and not denying them this incredible attraction while the city works through its budget.
So, who uses the rink and why do they deserve your donation?
- Moms and Dads teaching their kids to skate.
- Teenagers who don't have other teen-centric activities to keep them occupied.
- Nervous young men about to propose to their girlfriends in the middle of the rink.
- Families who can't afford a big Christmas vacation when school is out and instead go skating every day.
- Refugee families who take the bus from the South End to celebrate the holidays in the USA for the first time.
- Suburban families who combine it with a trip to the Wadsworth or a local restaurant, who walk away thinking that Hartford is pretty cool.
- Folks looking for a healthy, active alternative to Christmas cookies.
- Residents who want to bring their visiting families to something fun.
- Anyone who wants to break up the long Connecticut winter with joy, music, laughter, and community.
- People of every age, ethnicity, class, gender, and religion. It is truly the place that everyone hits up at least once every winter.
- I use it.
- You use it. And if you don't, you should, because it's awesome.
Where does the money go?
Champions Skating is truly a Champion! They donate the skates for the winter and operate the rink. Your dollars go directly to Winterfest itself-- keeping the rink nice and cold, setup, supplies, and security. Every dollar will go right into the rink budget-- we truly want to make this happen this year and start planning right away.
If you are more comfortable donating directly, you can mail a check to The iQuilt Partnership, 31 Pratt Street, 5th Floor, Hartford, CT 06103
Can I volunteer? How else can I help? I would pay to skate!
The best way to help is to donate to this budget. That helps us set up the actual, physical rink, which is the most important thing. If you can't donate much, help spread the word! Once we know that we can definitely put Winterfest together, we will let you know how else you can help. And while we know that many would pay to skate, we need to keep this free for our Hartford families. If you'd pay, well then, consider your donation a down payment on your future skating!
What if you make TOO much money?
If we are able to get over $200,000 we will keep the rink open for a longer period of time. If we get WAY too much then we will save it for 2017. That would be incredible. Please, help us have this amazing problem of too much money!
We know you're putting your bathing suit on right now, but please-- Get in the SNOWY, COLD NEW ENGLAND spirit. Make a donation to save the Winterfest Skating rink. For every $5 you give, you're giving a child or a fellow citizen the chance to skate. A bigger donation helps more and more. We're not loading up this fundraisers with rewards -- the reward is that we all get the community we love and value.
To our Connecticut family, we ask you this: do you reminisce about "the old days" in Hartford? Do you remember Mark Twain Days, G Fox events, and thousands of folks enjoying the city? Winterfest has revived that vision.
Your donation helps the Winterfest Skating Rink from becoming yet another nostalgic part of Hartford's past. Help us to keep it in the present for one more year: it will be Hartford's future.