Foundation launches Renaissance Festival ticket sales, grant program

The Magnolia Community Foundation launches its fourth annual fundraising campaign and begins a new grant program Sept. 8 to benefit local nonprofit organizations through a partnership with the Texas Renaissance Festival.



"This is about Magnolia helping Magnolia," MCF president Deborah Rose Miller said. "Our focus is that the money that's raised in Magnolia stays in Magnolia."



As part of the fundraising campaign, Miller said 19 nonprofit organizations, including Magnolia Kids for Change and the Magnolia/Tomball Family YMCA, will sell discounted Renaissance Festival tickets from Sept. 8 to 19 and receive 40 percent of the proceeds.



The discounted price of the festival tickets is $17 for adults and $8 for children—an estimated $5 to $10 savings from regular ticket prices, said Terre Albert, general manager of the Texas Renaissance Festival. The festival is celebrating its 40th anniversary and will be open to the public each weekend from Oct. 11 through Nov. 30.



During the first year of the festival partnership in 2011, 10 participating nonprofit organizations received $8,000 in proceeds from ticket sales. The funds are used to expand the services and missions of local nonprofits organizations in the community, Miller said.



"The second year [of the partnership in 2012] we had over 15 organizations and netted over $12,000," Miller said. "Last year, there were 17 organizations, and we netted almost $16,000 in a two-week period of time. It's a great way to raise funds."



Last year, the Magnolia West High School swimming and diving team sold the most tickets and received the highest amount of proceeds with $2,400, she said.



In addition, the foundation is launching its inaugural grant program this year and will distribute up to $5,000 to local nonprofit organizations, with more funds anticipated in the coming years, Miller said. The grant application process involves presenting a budget and photos detailing the need for the requested funds, she said.



"We want everybody applying for this grant to know we're going to make sure the money gets spent where it's supposed to be spent, and we're also going to make sure the organization is a nonprofit," Miller said.



To further benefit the grant program, the nonprofit organizations will also be selling tickets over the next few weeks to the VIP grand opening of the new King Midas' Masquerade Ball Oct. 4 at the Renaissance Festival, Miller said. For a fee of $175 per couple, 300 attendees will be able to take part in a five-course dinner, alcoholic beverages and entertainment in a new $1 million facility. After the VIP event, the masquerade ball will be held Saturdays during the festival for a reduced price.



Ticket sales for the VIP masquerade ball are projected to raise $15,000 for additional nonprofit organization grants next year, Miller said.



For more information on the Texas Renaissance Festival, visit www.texrenfest.com.



Upcoming deadlines



Sept. 8–19: Sales open for discounted Renaissance Festival tickets



Sept. 23: Registration forms and ticket sales due



Sept. 27: Participating nonprofit organizations receive funding from ticket proceeds at 5:30 p.m. during the Stroll Through the Renaissance event in Sullivan Park at the southwest corner of FM 1488 and FM 1774



Oct. 15: Grant application due



Oct. 20: Magnolia Community Foundation board of directors selects grant recipients and funding amounts



Oct. 22: Grant recipients are notified



Dec. 13: Selected nonprofit organizations receive grant funding at 7 p.m. at Magnolia High School during the Miss Magnolia Pageant



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