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Regatta: Survived 2013 race disaster
, Courier Sportswriter
Thursday, September 05, 2013 11:00 AM
The final numbers have not been tallied, but it appears that Madison Regatta, Inc. will survive its disastrous Fourth of July race and return in 2014.
In the first general membership meeting since high water forced the first cancellation in the race's history, Regatta officials began planning for next year's event.
"We're going to come out all right as long as we get what is owed to us," said outgoing Regatta Treasurer Jeff Chandler, who is taking over as vice-president this year." There is about $10,000 that is still owed to us and once we get that, we'll be in good shape."
The Regatta took a massive hit when high water forced officials to cancel the race for the first time. While the Regatta sold plenty of wristbands in advance of race weekend, it stopped charging fans at the gates around noon Saturday.
As a result, much of the revenue that the Regatta counts on did not materialize. But officials said on Wednesday that if there is even one penny in the bank account, there will be a race in 2014.
The Regatta has not been able to completely access where it stands financially, but Chandler did outline some good news that the organization received.
The Rotary Club donated the $600 it earned from working the gates during race weekend back to the Regatta and one vendor wrote a check for $100 to help defray costs.
The biggest donation the Regatta received was from stunt pilot Brett Hunter, who was paid for the entire weekend but ended up only putting on one show because of the weather. Hunter returned a check for $4,900 to the Regatta as a donation.
In addition, Chandler reported that the Regatta still was able to pay $78,000 back to the local community in terms of event staff, payments and donations.
"We're going to come out by the skin of our teeth," Chandler said.
The meeting also served as a transfer as the Regatta will get all new officers for 2014. Tim Torrance will take over the presidency from Kim Washer, Chandler moves into the vice-president role and race chairman Pat Brooks moves over to treasurer.
Washer used the opportunity to hand out service awards to Torrance, Chandler, Brooks, Amy Ralston, Crystal McHargue and John Knoebel.
"It's been a year that has been an emotional roller coaster," Washer said. "I've made some mistakes, but everybody's stood by me through thick and thin.
"Mother Nature may have won the battle but she won't win the war," Washer added. "We'll be back next year."
The Regatta is planning a retreat tentatively for the first weekend in October to plan for the upcoming season. Details will be released later.
I would like to know if the Regatta will refund all or a portion of the money to people who bought wristbands? It seems to me that since the Regatta itself is reciving all these refunds from businesses then it should only be fair to refund those who purchased wristbands and did not see a race. The no refund statement on the bands to me simply implies that no refunds should or will be made to those who could not attend the event if it was held. The people purchased a wristband for an event which did not take place and should be refunded. The Regatta should have an insurance policy to cover this in case these situations occur. If some type of refund doesn't take place then it seems to me that is fraud and theft.I know the Regatta is saying they offered things for those who attended but they also opened those same options free to the public. Hopefully they are considering at least a discount for next year's wristband for those who purchased one this year. I'm sure the majority feel the same as I do regarding this matter. Thanks for your time.
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9/5/2013 12:37:00 PM
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