The 2018 7th Annual Clermont Caribbean Jerk Festival, held earlier this year on May 19th, was washed out. If you recall, rains flooded most of Central Florida the second and third week of May 2018. for much of the entire day and early-evening. Only 500 people braved tremendous downpours and steady rain that hit the festival. As a result, the Clermont Caribbean Jerk Festival, and CAALC, lost thousands of dollars.
With such a low attendance, all ticket, food and beverage sales – sales we rely on to cover our event costs and raise monies that go directly to the scholarships – raised only a few thousand dollars. We were not able to cover our event costs. This significantly affected our plans for 2019. We had been planning to launch a more robust scholarship program. A new $25,000 scholarship program would allow us to not only send high school graduates to colleges and universities, but to vocational and trade schools, as well. We did not want to abandon this much needed program, especially, in the face of rising education costs.
Almost out of nowhere comes someone (Michael Laderman) with a bright idea who asked, “Why don’t you develop a sponsorship program like many other 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations have done?” We took Michael up on his offer to help us develop such a program for CAALC. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, we rely heavily on community support to not only exist, but to help put on our major annual and smaller events over the year that allow us to raise monies for the young people of our community. We got to work and developed a strategic sponsorship program that will help us to intentionally focus our fundraising efforts for the Jerk Festival.
For 2019, we really need your help. We need your help to recover from 2018’s rained-out event and be able to give back to our kids within our community. This year, we are asking you to open your hearts and wallets even more than ever.