Cape Fear Italian Festival provides for Brunswick Community College students
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Students at Brunswick Community College will get a hand with their education thanks to your love for Italian-American culture. Tuesday, the Cape Fear Italian Festival executive committee, including WWAY’s Kevin Wuzzardo and Steve Rondinaro, donated $3,000 from last month's festival in Leland to the Brunswick Community College Foundation. The money will go toward student scholarships. BCC president Steve Greiner said it will be money well spent. "The typical student at Brunswick Community College is one of financial need. We have over 80 percent of our students have demonstrated a financial need. So as you see, a check like this would be of great assistance." Work is already underway for the second annual Cape Fear Italian Festival scheduled for September 24th and 25th of next year.

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As one of the organizers of the Italian Festival let me explain. First, there was 5000 people not 6000. Second,to put on a festival like that cost over $18,000. If you have never been involved with a project like this you would learn very quickly about things like entertainment,stage,lights,sound, insurance,town permits,dumpsters,port-a-potties,security,tent rentals and the list goes on and on.Also,keep in mind that 50% of the festival was rained out.Had the rains not come there would have been considerably more to donate. However, for a first year event we are very proud of what we accomplished and what we were able to donate. Next year weather permitting we will put on a festival twice as big and raise more money for needy students. Trust me,no one made a penny here except the students.
Interesting, the sign did not say, "Part of your $2.00 donation will be given to BCC only after everything is paid for." That is false advertising. I am sure people would be A LOT less willing to PAY $2.00 to get in to a festival where they also had to PAY for their food, among other things. Clearly, the Italian Festival used this “donation” tactic as a way to make people think their money was going for a good cause, so they wouldn’t mind paying an entry fee AND paying for their food once inside. Just read a few of the comments posted with an article on the WWAY website entitled “Italian Festival hoping for a sunnier Sunday.” Clearly, these people were under the same misconception as I - that their ENTIRE $2.00 donation would be going to BCC. I understand that festivals such as these take a lot of money to put on, but isn’t that what the "sponsors" of this event were for. Or, is this just a way for your sponsors to get their name in the community for doing a “good” thing without really helping to foot the bill. In the future, I suggest you be a little more explicit with your patrons because, contrary to what you may think, many of us do not like to be lied to about where our money is actually going.
According to a September 28 WWAY report, the Italian Festival had "over 6,000" people" in attendance. I was under the impression that the ENTIRE $2.00 entry fee was a DONATION that would be going to Brunswick Community College. So, I'd like to know what happened to the other $9,000? Seems like something just doesn't add up.
I think it is great that money was donated for the financial needs of students, and I hope it will be used wisely. But, a question for the college administration: Who provided the funds to pay for for the recent visit by activist Cindy Sheehan?
If you read the report you would know someone paid the college to use the place.