National Cherry Festival Celebrates Volunteers with Community Give-Back
"We are celebrating our community and all the wonderful things that happened at the 96th National Cherry Festival." - Kat Paye, Executive Director
The National Cherry Festival was a highlight of summer fun here in northern Michigan. And although it’s in our rear-view mirror now, they’re now highlighting some of the great things to come from this year’s festival.
The Festival says again this year there are many opportunities to give back to the community. One example, the community Share Groups that worked more than 1200 hours staffing the festival.
Executive Director Kat Paye says, “It’s important to of course showcase to the community the great things the National Cherry Festival has done. And it’s really important to celebrate the people and the sponsors and what it is for our community. But really, what the Cherry Festival is giving back to the community monetarily and what the volunteers have given to us.”
The festival is able to distribute more than $19,000 to those community groups. The festival took time Wednesday to celebrate the community partners who made the summer event possible. Paye says, “It’s phenomenal. We have over 500,000 guests annually. Our volunteers work over 45,000 hours. We have over 2400 volunteers that come together to put on the National Cherry Festival. It’s an incredible experience.”
Other highlights: the Queen’s Program awarded almost $13,000 in scholarships to this year’s participants. This year’s Festival of Races brought out 26 other groups to help with the event. The festival was able to award $8,600 for those efforts. And the NMC Aviation Program received $8,000 for the Kevin Copeland Memorial Aviation Scholarship, and an additional $1,000 directly to the Aviation Program. And the art competition awarded $6,000 in student scholarships for those in the Print Program Scholarship contest.