Over Two Dozen Local Businesses and Individuals Help Meet Challenge to Save 2009 Washington Park Summer Festival

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Parks Commissioner Nick Fish announces that the challenge to raise $50,000 to match contributions from Hotel deLuxe, Hotel Lucia, and the Sondland Durant Foundation has been a resounding success

The support from these businesses and individuals demonstrate how important saving this much-loved Portland tradition is for our community, especially in these tough times. This is an example of what the best kind of private/public partnerships can achieve.

Joined by Gordon Sondland, the CEO of Hotel deLuxe and Hotel Lucia and co-principal of the Sondland Durant Foundation, and a host of contributors, Parks Commissioner Nick Fish announced this morning that the challenge match to raise $50,000 and save Portland Parks & Recreation's Washington Park Summer Festival had been successful.

Over 25 businesses and individuals contributed to the call from Sondland to match the initial $50,000 donation made by the hotels and the foundation to save the Festival's 2009 season. He and Katy Durant issued a matching challenge which was contingent upon other businesses contributing the additional 50% toward the $100,000 cost of producing the free two-week Festival. The catch was that the $50,000 in matching funds had to be committed by May 15 in order to proceed.

With a call to action from KEX Morning Update host Paul Linnman on Friday, May 8, the challenge was greeted with an immediate response from local businesses who wanted to contribute to rescuing the Festival. By the May 15 deadline, the challenge had been more than met.

"We've had an extraordinary response to the urgency of our fundraising need," Commissioner Fish said, thanking the donors individually. "The support from these businesses and individuals demonstrate how important saving this much-loved Portland tradition is for our community, especially in these tough times. This is an example of what the best kind of private/public partnerships can achieve."

"This is terrific. This is exactly what we had hoped for," said Gordon Sondland. "This shows you what a close-knit community we have and that the people of Portland care about tradition, culture and family."

The successful fundraising effort will enable Portland Parks & Recreation to present the Festival during the first two weeks of August, continuing the 60-year tradition, free of charge for the community to enjoy.

Donors (as of Thursday, May 14)
Sondland-Durant Foundation
Hotel deLuxe
Hotel Lucia
Bank of America
Craig Boretz
City Center Parking/Greg Goodman
Dewey Dental
FutureWorks Consulting
Kaiser Permanente
Key Bank
Laborers' Local 483
Jay Martin
Melvin Mark
Miller Nash LLP
NW Natural    
OSU Foundation
Pacific Power    
PGE
Portland TrailBlazers
Qwest
Reser's Fine Foods    
Safeway
Luisa Simone & Robert Obrinsky
Star Park/Schlesinger Companies
Starlett & Stephen Brown
The Irving Levin and Stephanie Fowler Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation
The Mark Spencer Hotel TransCanada
US Bank
Wells Fargo

Washington Park Summer Festival Background
The Washington Park Summer Festival was established in 1949 by Dorothea Lensch, the first Recreation Director for Portland Parks & Recreation. The Festival ran in various forms until 1988, when budget restrictions required it to be put on hiatus at that time. The Festival resumed in 2005, when Daimler (formerly Freightliner LLC) partnered with Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) as the Presenting Sponsor of the series.

The Washington Park Summer Festival depends upon private support to offset the production costs for the free performances. The cost for presenting the Festival, which features two weeks of nightly performances, is over $100.000. When past presenting sponsor Daimler Trucks North America was unable, due to corporate reductions, to continue to support the Festival this year, PP&R has been faced with suspending the festival for 2009.

In past years, performers have included such beloved local artists as Rebecca Kilgore, Curtis Salgado, Janice Scroggins, Curtis Salgado, Lions of Barucada, Charmaine Neville, Reggie Houston, the Portland Festival Symphony, and the Portland Summerfest Opera.

About Hotel deLuxe
Centrally located in the city, the Hotel deLuxe Portland - named to 2008 and 2009 Condé Nast Traveler's World's Best Hotels list - is unique with its Art Deco style/Art Moderne style complementing 350 black-and-white photographs from the Golden Era of Hollywood Film. This elegant hotel offers personalized guest service and amenities, such as a Pillow Menu and Spiritual Menu. For more information, please contact visit http://www.hoteldeluxe.com or contact Dina Nishioka at 503.295.2122x223. Reservations are available online or by phone at 866.895.2094.

About Hotel Lucia
Centrally located in the heart of downtown, Hotel Lucia Portland - named to 2007, 2008 and 2009 Condé Nast Traveler's World's Best Hotels list and Travel + Leisure's 500 Best Hotels in the world -offers an art-filled setting steps away from the city's best shopping, restaurants and night clubs. This comfortable hotel provides indulgent and essential amenities, including high-speed wireless Internet access, Aveda bath products, organic coffee and a "Get it Now" button on every hotel phone for the most whimsical desire or typical need. The Hotel Lucia can be found on the Web at http://www.hotellucia.com. Reservations are available online or by phone at 877.225.1717.

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Dina Nishioka
Provenance Hotels
5032952122 ext. 223
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Beth Sorenson
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