Pickerington Times-Sun

Violet Festival donates $5,000 to local food pantry

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The Pickerington Violet Festival is continuing its long-standing practice of re-investing proceeds from the event back into the community.

The PCMA Food Pantry of Pickerington received a $5,000 check from the Violet Festival at the Dec. 20 meeting of the Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce.

Dan Heitmeyer, president of the Violet Festival Board, said festival organizers are simply reciprocating for the hard work PCMA Food Pantry volunteers did in manning the festival's entry gate for the duration of the festival in 2012.

"We became aware the food pantry was willing to provide support to us in servicing our entry gates," Heitmeyer said.

"We engaged their services to help out with (the) entry gates (and) in return we did donate money to the food pantry," he said.

The Violet Festival generates income from sponsorships and admission fees to produce the four-day festival in July.

Volunteers from the PCMA Food Pantry have helped for the last three years by selling admission tickets at the Violet Festival gates.

"The Food Pantry's volunteers helped us have a very successful event last summer and we want to give something back to them," Heitmeyer said.

"We love our partnership, they do a great job for us."

Heitmeyer said the donation to the PCMA Food Pantry was earmarked from the festival's 2012 proceeds.

Susan Hite, president of the PCMA Food Pantry Board of Trustees, said the donation is much appreciated as the pantry continues to service many area residents in need.

"We're extremely grateful for this donation from the Violet Festival," Hite said.

"We served 4,885 individuals in the Pickerington Local District community during 2012," she said.

"We rely on the generosity of individuals, businesses, schools, grants from (the) United Way and Fairfield Foundation, and civic organizations like the Violet Festival to make this happen," Hite said.

"We are proud to be a partner in this event that serves the community and supports those in need," she said.

Heitmeyer said the Violet Festival helps out a number of area organizations with monetary support.

"We're always looking for volunteers to help us," he said.

"We do the same type of arrangement for (the) Boy Scouts in Pickerington, local booster clubs, church groups, pet rescue groups, and other non-profit organizations," Heitmeyer said.

"Depending on how many people help us, we provide a donation back to them for their services.

"Over the past two years, we'll have given back to those organizations in the community well over $26,000," he said.

The Pickerington Violet Festival, now in its 16th year, draws more than 40,000 visitors from central Ohio and beyond.

"(It's) a very large event," Heitmeyer said. "It takes a lot of people to coordinate and pull this event off," he said.

"We're looking for people to serve as volunteers and on (the) Violet Festival Board, to give us guidance and help us plan the festival," said Heitmeyer, who encouraged those interested to attend the next committee meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21 at Park Alley, 19 N. Center Street in Pickerington.

The title sponsor of the 2013 Violet Festival is Mount Carmel Health Systems.

Other sponsors include the R.G. Barry Corp., Diley Ridge Medical Center, Fairfield County Commissioners, Key Bank, WOW! Internet-Cable-Phone, and AAA Auto Club.

The 2013 festival is scheduled for July 24-27.

Tickets will be available in advance at the Key Bank office on state Route 256 or at the door.

More information about the events and activities planned for the 2013 Festival is available at www.violetfestival.org.

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