The following is an announcement from the Bean Blossom Jamboree Foundation, and is being distributed during this week’s 45th Annual Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival.
Dear Friends, Donors, and Supporters of the Bean Blossom Jamboree Foundation:
We first set out a little over three years ago to establish a non-profit organization that could serve as a gathering point for the bluegrass music community, where we could pool our efforts, seek civic and corporate support, and by doing so achieve or main goal of acquiring the Bill Monroe Music Park and preserving this historic site as a non-profit entity for future generations. We started our efforts by communicating to the public at large, primarily festival goers and other fans of the music. We got an overwhelmingly positive response from the public all over the world and our effort has been propelled by rank-and-file individual support from donors like you.
As we promised in our mission statement, our volunteer officers and board members worked tirelessly for three years exploring every funding option possible, from loans to installment agreements to private-public partnerships to sponsorships to major corporate donations and more. Below is a partial list of public and private individuals and organizations we formally approached for support. A few gave us small donations ($1,000 or less), many told us they could not support us at the current time, and many others also indicated no interest. However, we could not have even approached these donors if it had not been for your individual support. The economic downturn in 2008 coincided with our start and severely hampered our efforts. While this has hurt us with the big donors, tough times did not deter the individual donors, and for that we are extremely grateful.
We want you to know that the funds we have raised have been used solely to advertise, seek civic and corporate support from “big donors,” cover operating expenses, and to promote bluegrass in ways such as the Youth Boot Camp. While we hired a professional fundraiser to approach large donors in late 2010, all board members and officers have been 100% volunteer, including free legal, business, and marketing expertise, and have not even sought mileage reimbursements or similar expenses. Despite our best efforts, funds are now low, and prospects of purchasing the park at the current time are narrow. For this reason, we are not actively seeking individual donations at this time. If opportunities present themselves in the future, the BBJF will remain a vehicle to pursue those opportunities. Until then, our mission allows us to set shorter term goals. We intent to maintain the Memorial Wall at the park and use the proceeds to help promote local bluegrass and fund educational activities like the Youth Boot Camp. We invite anyone who might be interested in a leadership position in the BBJF to contact us, because there will be a great opportunity this year to help define and guide the Foundation’s mission in the future.
Again, we thank you for your support over the past three years. We regret that we have not yet been able to raise the funds necessary to purchase the park, but we our encouraged that the park’s ownership remains committed to seeing the park preserved and hope that by infusing some new leadership and new ideas, the BBJF can continue to do good for the bluegrass community.
Volunteer Leadership, Officers, and Board Members
Bean Blossom Jamboree Foundation, Inc.
See the list of donors on the BBJF web site.