Dec 16, 2021
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
SUNFEST SHINES AS EVENT GIVES BACK TO COMMUNITY
Nonprofit is gearing up for springtime event with focus on community throughout the year
After a two-year hiatus, SunFest organizers are finalizing plans to bring back the festival from April 29 through May 1, 2022 along Flagler Drive in downtown West Palm Beach. As the 38th SunFest comes together, organizers say that while the event has undergone changes and additions throughout the years, its focus on community remains consistent – more important this year than ever.
“While SunFest started as a way to bring tourists to the downtown waterfront during South Florida’s shoulder season,” said Paul Jamieson, SunFest executive director, “our focus as a nonprofit has always been on building community. As longtime residents and community members, our board and staff are really proud to be able to offer our neighbors the opportunity to be involved with SunFest 2022 and to give back to our community throughout the year.”
With origins as the 10-day Royal Palm Festival, SunFest has morphed from a jazz, art and water festival to a more concentrated four-day celebration of music, art and friendship. That said, SunFest 365 serves the community year-round. The mission of SunFest 365 is to reach out to the community with projects that promote or enhance culture and the arts, youth education, assistance for other nonprofit organizations and the environment.
One of its most popular outreach programs is “Helping Neighbors”. Each year, SunFest donates 800 tickets to area charities for distribution to individuals who otherwise might not be able to attend the festival. Since the inception of the Helping Neighbors program, SunFest has given away thousands of tickets to underserved populations serving over 50 agencies each year. The program is underwritten by Florida Power and Light Company and applications are currently available at SunFest.com/sunfest-365. The deadline to apply is February 11, 2022.
“As a nonprofit,” continued Jamieson, “SunFest’s financial goal is to break even each year. If any proceeds are realized, the money goes toward improvements for the following year’s festival, replenishment of any depleted rain funds and community outreach programs.”
Through SunFest 365 programming we have participated in donating and fundraising with local nonprofits. We help raise more than $100,000 annually to nonprofit organizations that volunteer at SunFest and want to help raise more for organizations that enhance the greater community in which we all live.
SunFest appreciates the opportunity to give back to our communities, including the youth. Over the past 10 years, SunFest has awarded $40,000 in college scholarships to high school seniors in the areas of visual arts, instrumental music and choral music.
For more information about the ways SunFest gives back to the community click here.