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Funding comes up short with cancellation of festival

By Chance Chamberlain

The Harrisonville Area Chamber of Commerce cancelled the Log Cabin Festival last week which leaves many local clubs and organizations struggling to raise funds for the remainder of the year. The Harrisonville High School Royal Guard Band Boosters and the Masonic Lodge both said the cancellation of the festival is devastating to their fundraising this year.

Isac Shelton, president of the band boosters said, “We are really treading water at this time because we can’t do our funnel cake booth at the festival, which is typically one of our largest fundraisers for the year. This hurts us more because we have been in damage control since March due to the cancellation of our big trip we had saved up to go on for four years.

“At this time, the band boosters have no other plans for additional fundraising for the remainder of the year, which doesn’t necessarily devastate us due to the cancellation of all band competitions,” he said.

David Reynolds said the Masonic Lodge will suffer greatly due to the cancellation.

“We typically do pulled pork nachos at the festival which is our primary fundraiser for the entire year. We raise a few thousand dollars each year that goes toward a scholarship to a student at Harrisonville High School and we donate to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office Tan-Santa every Christmas,” he said.

Reynolds added, “This cancellation is going to cut us pretty short on our typical donations and the scholarship. We will even have some trouble paying our bills because the festival funds usually covered almost all of our bills.”

The Masonic Lodge holds a $6 breakfast on the second Saturday of each month to raise money for Lodge No. 147.

The Lions Club and the Knights of Columbus said although the cancellation hurts them, they will still be able to maintain their usual programs and activities for the remainder of the year.

Darlene Hodges of the Lions Club said, “Every year we have a food truck with sandwiches, hot dogs and cold drinks. The Log Cabin Festival is typically our biggest fundraiser for the year, so we will be on a tight budget for the rest of 2020.

“We recently looked at our budget and found that we have leftover money from last year to help us out. We have also accepted multiple member donations to our activity fund that will almost cover everything this year,” she said.

Hodges said even though funds are tight, the Lions Club will follow through with their winter fruit distribution.

“In December we do a fruit distribution for senior citizens which we will still do this year. COVID will force us to leave the baskets in the entrance areas rather than going door to door, but we are just glad that we can still provide that service,” she said. “We will struggle a little bit so it will be tough for us for a while, but we feel like we can meet what we have always done in the past.”

Knights of Columbus member John Cunningham, said, “We are fortunate that the Log Cabin Festival isn’t our main fundraiser each year. We got to do half of our scheduled fish fries this year and we will still do our Tootsie Roll drive in October. It just won’t be at Walmart. We are looking for a different location now.

“The festival cancellation hurts us the most by minimizing our charitable work this year. We won’t be able to do any of our Special Olympics charity work and our other charitable donations will take a big hit, but we will carry on,” he said.

The Church of the Nazarene in Harrisonville and Harrisonville Senior Mania were also affected by the cancellation, but did not return calls to discuss the extent of their situations.

Harrisonville Senior Mania will hold “HOCO 2020 – Pandemic Style” from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday on the square. Vendors and food trucks will be on site and the event is open to the public. Social distancing and masks are highly encouraged by the group.

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