The North Carolina Holiday Flotilla board unanimously accepted its 2013 budget, with an estimated $115,000 in revenues and $119,915 in expenses.
During the board’s regular meeting on Monday, March 25, treasurer Elaine Andrews said the sponsors are key to the budget.
“The sponsorships cash is based on what we expect, hope to get,” Andrews said. “You’ll notice in kind is a lot different than last year, because we weren’t really recording our in kind too much in the previous years. But, that being said, it probably seems high to everybody.”
Andrews said the estimated $45,000 for in-kind sponsorships, up from the $1,000 amount listed in the 2012 budget, includes the Blockade Runner Beach Resort’s room donations for the Friday night party, which have a high monetary value.
The cash sponsorships are estimated at $17,000, up from $15,750 in the 2012 budget.
While the board is taking steps to work with other local organizations, including the Wrightsville Beach Chamber of Commerce, chairwoman Linda Brown said she would also like to see more community members and local businesses involved in the flotilla process, an effort Bill Blair, former Alderman, is working on along with sponsorships during the next few weeks.
Brown said it would behoove the board to have more local people of all ages involved, possibly working together in smaller committees for the large weekend event.
“They don’t have to come to the board meetings and all of that, but they’re welcome to,” she said.
There is a perception, Brown said, that the Friday night party is held for board members only, which is not the case.
The board also discussed placing an emphasis on notifying Wrightsville Beach residents about the bridge traffic this year, which will again be in process when repairs to the Heide Trask Drawbridge limit bridge traffic to two lanes in October.
Those initiatives could include fliers and mass emails to all residents informing them about the bridge work.
“Let’s let them know, because we touched the public last year and hopefully we touched some of the residents, but to actually put something at their door or whatever is really, really going above and beyond for flotilla,” Brown said. “We’re sorry to inconvenience you.”
She said people who crossed the bridge before 3:40 p.m. in 2012 did not have a problem with traffic, so another effort will encourage people to stay in Wrightsville Beach for the weekend.
“Come spend the weekend at Wrightsville Beach; come stay at our hotels; come eat at our restaurants,” Brown said.
The next flotilla meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on April 22.