CARDINAL-The Leeds-Grenville International Plowing Match and Country Festival Committee reports a surplus of over $400,000 from the five-day event that ran in September in Crosby, that attracted over 80,000 visitors to the area.
"We’re very pleased with the amount we have left over. It’s only because of the volunteers that we have that much to give out," said Bill Sloan, chair of the IPM Legacy Committee.
Described as the largest event ever staged in the history of Leeds and Grenville, the match has been praised as the "cleanest IPM, the most organized, the best laid out site, with the best programming, and most welcoming match." A contingent of 1,493 volunteers worked hard on bringing it together and their efforts were matched by superb weather on each and every one of the five days the IPM ran.
After paying the bills, proceeds of $200,000 are going to the Leeds-Grenville IPM and Country Festival Committee, and the Ontario Plowmen’s Association (OPA) will receive the remaining funds to help host future matches.
Sloan explained the Board of Directors met first with the OPA on April 9 in Cobourg and then together the same day, to set up a legacy for non-profit groups. "Our goal is to hand out a number of $500 to $5,000 cheques, helping as many groups as possible rather than giving one organization a substantial amount," he said.
Some of the surplus, $42,544, has already been distributed to volunteer groups for the excellent service they performed at the match. For example, area Lions Clubs manned the gates, the Masons parked thousands of cars, the Portland Football Club cleaned away garbage, the Lionesses provided information from the booths, fairboards helped bartend, the Women’s Institutes and the Leeds-Grenville Snowmobile Club held raffles for the IPM. But other groups helped by providing meeting halls, staging fundraisers, lending equipment, and volunteering at booths in a true community effort.
In addition to the monetary amount of $42,000, another $20,000 of in kind equipment in the form of tables, sign boards, office supplies and recycling bins was donated throughout both counties to fairboards and recreation departments.
Sloan said the remainder of the $200,000 would be placed in a contingency fund if any more bills come in. But he believes most bills have been paid, since the committee advertised for anyone to bring in their bills by the end of February.
"The OPA puts some towards the contingency fund too," Sloan said. "It will be finished by September, because that's when the new one starts (2008 IPM at Teeswater, Bruce County). We’re getting ready to wind up the corporation."
Non-profit groups are asked to complete an application form outlining their organization, their need for funding and their involvement, if any, with the 2007 IPM. After reviewing the applications, the IPM Board of Directors will distribute the cheques at the Lombardy Fairgrounds building, on a day in early June. "That’s when we'll give out the biggest share of donations," Sloan said.
Application forms may be obtained by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, requesting the form that has a deadline of May 10.