Sarasota County commissioners approved a $10,000 grant and $3,500 of donated services to support the 2013 Super Boat Grand Prix Race March 19 at a regularly scheduled meeting.
That may not be enough to buoy the charity event’s budget.
Festival Director and Vice President of Marketing and Special Events Lucy Nicandri told Sarasota County commissioners a decline in donations from businesses and increasing costs for heavy equipment threatens the Fourth of July event. She asked for a contribution of $100,000 from the Sarasota County General Fund and in-kind services.
The 2012 Super Boat Grand Prix Race provided roughly $136,000 for Suncoast Charities for Children in 2012. That’s 20% less than the festival’s net revenues in 2011 and 32% less than 2010.
But, it generated $14.3 million in economic impact to the county in 2012.
“I would spend money all day to get an economic impact like this,” said Commissioner Joe Barbetta.
Other commissioners worried spending out of the General Fund would set a precedent, and other charity events would ask for larger contributions.