$18,000 Raised in ONE DAY for the Ann Arbor Skatepark!
Skate Park Effort Raises $18,000 at Evening of Events at Sava
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 16, 2011: The Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark received $18,000 in donations during a fundraiser that included a full evening of events held at Sava's Restaurant Saturday night. The evening included an invitation-only cocktail reception and formal dinner along with an “after-glow” dance party that was open to the public.
According to Project Liaison Scott Rosencrans: “A group of people who understand that teens need a way to be active, safe, creative and expressive pulled out their checkbooks and collectively brought that possibility closer to being a reality.”
The evening featured keynote speakers and Ann Arbor Natives, Neda Ulaby, Arts, Cultural, and Entertainment Reporter at National Public Radio, and WEMU On-Air Personality Michael Jewett. Ms. Ulaby took time out from her busy career to fly home for the purpose of supporting this project. Mr. Jewett also had to squeeze the event in to his busy career during a time when his professional responsibilities are acute. Together they made the evening interesting, informative, and fun for the attendees.
Approximately forty donors attended the $150 dollar per plate event. The Master of ceremonies was skate park effort founding board member Trevor Staples who was joined in speaking duties by fellow Board Member, 13-year-old Sam Saalberg. Mr. Saalberg serves on the Board as a representative of the “Street Team” a youth volunteer corps supporting the Skate Park Effort.
Earlier in the day the Street Team sold cider and donuts in front of Acme Mercantile on Liberty Street for two hours in the cold wind and raised an additional $150 for the project.
The group was able to raise additional funds at the Sava's event through skate park merchandise sales, supplemental donations, and a spontaneous auction for Mr. Staples’ one-of-a-kind A2 Skate Park necktie. After a spirited bidding process the tie went for $135 to ardent supporters Linh and Dug Song who recently wrote a check for $25,000 for the project. Mrs. Song commented that it was the best opportunity to get her famous entrepreneur husband to wear a tie at the formal events he attends as a part of his business duties. It was Mr. Song and Mr. Staples who originally developed this effort as a pubic project.
Special recognition for the success of the event goes to Sava Lelcaj, proprietor of Sava’s Restaurant. A long time supporter of the project, Sava has made significant personal cash contributions to the effort. At this event she donated the use of her successful business establishment, provided a gourmet three-course meal and wine at cost, and added a substantial percentage of all bar proceeds from the evening as an additional contribution. While she served this group, she met the needs of the general public who came to her door and an afterglow party from a Hill Auditorium performance.
According to Rosencrans: “We appreciate Sava’s leadership in demonstrating how local businesses can support a public community improvement project. She has been creative, proactive, and a true pleasure to work with. We are continually amazed at her ability to do it all for the community while providing a fabulous dining experience for her customers and running a successful business. It helps that she has an incredible support staff that is both efficient and responsive. They are all a pleasure to spend time with. We can’t thank them enough.”
The amount raised at this event marks a significant milestone where the organization is financially able to release a Request For Proposals, in coordination with their partners at the City of Ann Arbor, for the design and construction supervision of a permanent skate park amenity at Veteran’s Memorial Park. An RFP committee comprised of FOTAAS members, Washtenaw County Park Commission personnel, Ann Arbor Park Advisory Commission members, and Ann Arbor Parks Staff will now be constituted for that purpose. Details will follow as those events proceed.
Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark