Letter from Lumpkin Coalition 12-16-09

Hey Coalitioners all,
We had a great meeting and after fest celebration last weekend! Thanks to all of you who were able to come (abt. 35 or so) for bringing your good energy and food:-)   And thanks to Sarah, Etowah, and Selu Adams for providing some fun musical entertainment!!
And thanks to everyone for being part of a highly successful Hemlockfest 2009!
We have voted to donate the spoils of the fest this year to Young Harris College (YHC) and North Georgia College and State University (NGCSU) beetle rearing labs.  It seems University of Georgia (UGA) is ok for the moment due to some grants they are receiving.
YHC will receive a check for $5,000
NGCSU will receive a check for a little more than $9,000
This will leave us with close to $2,000 of restricted use funds in PLAT (the home owners assistance program) and with funds to roll over to help out with next year’s festival!
Very Exciting that even in a tough economic year we came out in a position to contribute significantly to the hemlock saving effort!
Aside from the money aspect, we also were able to get information out to many people through our festival promotion efforts and through our programming and materials at Hemlockfest.
We have received great feedback from folks from all aspects of involvement including volunteers, participants, attendees and even some who just heard about it and are already looking forward to next year!
With more than 100 campers and more than 1000 attendees, everything ran very smoothly and our local sheriff (Stacy Jarrard) even confirmed that there were no reports or incidences related to the festival!
This kind of event could not happen without the combined efforts and visions of many people and it just keeps getting better each year!  I am always astounded at the amount of energy people are willing to volunteer towards such a cause.. and it shows in the group we have!  The Lumpkin Coalition is an expanding family of fantastic folks with energy and vision and drive to make a difference here in North Georgia. Let’s keep it going.. and growing!
So the hemlocks may live…
Forest Hilyer
Chairman, Lumpkin Coalition
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