As you may have read, the City of Jacksonville stopped its most recent payment of $150,000 to our nonprofit, Friends of Hemming Park, stating that concessions and other park revenues totaling $96,000 would not be counted toward our fundraising goal of $250,000.
Today Councilman Bill Gulliford introduced an amendment to our agreement that changes our fundraising parameters from private donations to include all revenues. We encourage you all to reach out your city council representative today and ask that they support this amendment in favor of Hemming Park. You can find their contact information here.
I am proud to say that over the past 11 months, our team has raised nearly $260,000 in support of the park. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, we strategically focused on concessions as a sustainable source of income. One of our greatest successes managing Hemming Park so far has been holding great community events that attract thousands of citizens to our downtown weekly. Selling concessions at these events was meant to diversify our revenue stream and help support our monthly operating costs outside of single sponsorships and donations.
In a short period of time, these funds as well as contributions from the City and our early supporters have allowed for the following improvements to Hemming Park and more:
- Live music and food service in the Café Monday – Friday
- Daily programming in the park and Reading Room
- The Imagination Playground set in the Kids Zone
- New structures & landscaping projects including stages and grass
- Public art projects such as the Hemming Park Terrarium by Shaun Thurston
- Ambassadors working 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day to setup & maintain the park
- Seven staff members including a social worker from the Sulzbacher Center
TAKE ACTION. SUPPORT THE PARK TODAY.
We’re thankful to have so much support for the work we’re doing at Hemming Park from both citizens and sponsors. The validation we’ve received has been overwhelming. In less than a year, Hemming Park has been able to start the process of remaking itself, thanks to the support from our sponsors, our elected officials, our community members and our hard-working staff.
As a nonprofit, we really need the continued support of our community to make Hemming Park the downtown landmark our city and our citizens deserve. Your actions today will show all of Jacksonville that Hemming Park matters and Downtown revitalization matters.
Click here to become a friend or make a donation today.
I’d like to thank our current sponsors and supporters, including Southwest Airlines, Wells Fargo, Deutsche Bank, The Florida Times-Union, Brunet-Garcia, City of Jacksonville, Jacksonville Public Library, Downtown Investment Authority and American Planning Association. If you or your company are interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities with Hemming Park, I’d love to speak with you.
Thank you for reading, and thank you for all the support you’ve shown for Hemming Park!