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August 25, 2016

Fundraising deadline looms to save Winterfest

PHOTO | Contributed Parents and children participate in Winterfest in Hartford.

With only seven days left to raise $200,000 to fund Winterfest, a crowdfunding campaign has raised $144,335 to save the months-long free ice skating and holiday events program, organizers say.

Sept. 1 is the fundraising deadline, said Jackie Gorsky Mandyck, managing director of the iQuilt Partnership Inc.

“Winterfest opens the day after Thanksgiving,” she said Thursday morning. “If we make our deadline we will keep it open until Jan. 2. If we raise more we will keep Winterfest open as long as possible through the end of January.”

Before Hartford budget constraints set back the programming earlier this year, Winterfest relied on approximately $150,000 from the city. The event cost approximately $280,000 budget last fiscal year.

Much of the cost involves hiring a contractor to set up and staff the outdoor rink that last year played host to 45,000 people.

Among those who recently kicked was Hartford law firm Freed Marcroft, which donated $2,000 through a matching offer meant to spur other donors, Gorsky Mandyck said.

The funding total at continued to climb in small increments Thursday morning.

Winterfest is also accepting online donations and checks, which can be sent to the iQuilt Partnership, 31 Pratt St., 5th Floor, Hartford, CT 06103.

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