After a subdued Western Welcome Week last year, Littleton’s signature community bash is hoping for a bonanza return this August - but fundraising is proving difficult, and the clock is ticking.
With just over a month to go, the 93rd annual Western Welcome Week is at a little more than two-thirds of its $70,000 fundraising goal, said Cindy Hathaway, the nonprofit’s longtime executive director.
“Our sponsorships have been a little topsy-turvy this year,” Hathaway said. “Some of the organizations who sponsored us in the past no longer exist, some have reduced their giving, and others I simply can’t get a hold of.”
Planning the nine-day extravaganza has been tricky as well. Hathaway and the group’s board of directors typically nail down event scheduling many months in advance, but COVID restrictions this spring made that process difficult.
The combination of sputtering sponsorships and on-again, off-again event planning spurred Hathaway to spike the usually-ubiquitous Western Welcome Week brochures that normally appear around town in July, for a savings of more than $4,500.
If fundraising doesn’t come through, Hathaway said Western Welcome Week will have to dip into its savings again, putting next year’s events in jeopardy.
Still, she and the board remain committed to putting on a party befitting the emergence from the COVID crisis.
Just about every traditional event is back on this year, from the pig roast to the fishing derby to gold panning to swing dancing and, of course, the Grand Parade down Main Street.
The opening night fireworks show, which originally was slated to be cut this year, is back on thanks to a donation from a family foundation.
Hathaway said part of the fundraising dilemma is fierce competition for limited dollars, but she hopes Littleton residents and businesses are eager to join in celebrating community.
“We’re survivors,” she said. “We want to show that we made it through a hard year and that Littleton is still strong. We’re so grateful for all the support out there, and we welcome more help.”
Sponsorships and donations can range from pint-size to king-size, and can be made at WesternWelcomeWeek.org.
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