Local Nonprofits Raise Money Despite National Cherry Festival Being Canceled

Last year, the National Cherry Festival was able to give back over $20,000 to local nonprofits.

And since the National Cherry Festival was canceled, it’s leaving some organizations to find other ways to raise money this summer.

Kat Paye is the executive director of the National Cherry Festival. She said, “The Girl Scouts do a lot with our parade clean ups. The Boy Scouts work at the Pepsi tent. You name it, you see it. We’ve got tons of teams down there putting it on and making sure that it happens.”

She says the volunteers make it run smoothly.

 “There are probably over 40 groups that do this annually. So it’s a very big undertaking and we’re deeply appreciative of their work because they help us put on the festival along with our additional 4,200 volunteers,” said Paye.

Traverse City’s Norte always sends volunteers to help at the National Cherry Festival.81da0fa3 27f1 45be 9de7 057744f4184f

But now that it’s canceled they hope majority of their funds will come from their summer camps.

Norte Advocacy Director, Garry Howe, says, “Well, we were fortunate. Because our summer is really dominated by summer bike camp. We have about 56 kids per week coming in for that.”

Norte is also hosting a donation can drive.

“People were collecting their cans in their garages so we had volunteers going out on bike and picking those up and storing those until we can find a way to return them and That was beyond what we imagined was possible,” said Howe.

The National Cherry Festival says they knew nonprofits would suffer the most when they canceled this year’s events, but say they’re looking forward to being able to support these local organizations once again next year.

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