At its Monday, June 23 meeting, the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla committee discussed the amount of attention the pre-flotilla Friday night party will receive this year with newly reformed The Embers featuring Craig Woolard band performing that night.
Woolard, who was a member of the beach music band The Embers for 27 years, recently rejoined the band and committee member Linda Brown said she has already received numerous inquiries about tickets for the evening.
With a larger act performing at the Friday night party, the committee expressed interest in increasing the ticket price for the party from $25 and offering a slightly discounted ticket price for purchasing tickets ahead of time.
With consent from the committee, chairman Pres Davenport said he would research the ticket prices for the band’s other concerts to see how the $25 price compares.
Although the entertainment for the Friday night party is secured, the committee is still searching for a main grand prize sponsor for the flotilla.
In his discussions with multiple larger businesses and corporations, Davenport said he has been told by several of those entities they would not contribute a large amount of money to the event itself but would consider doing so if the flotilla benefitted a charitable cause like education funding.
“The feedback I have been getting is people love the event but they are not going to write us a big check to throw a community party,” Davenport said. “It has to tie back into some kind of underlying mission of the company and things like education can tie back into employee and community growth.”
In that scenario a corporate sponsor could donate to flotilla with a portion of the donation going to a charity or cause.
Brown said it would be a big change for flotilla and she would first like to find out if it would cause any problems with the funding the event receives from Room Occupancy Tax funds from New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority through the town of Wrightsville Beach.
“We were told several years in a row that we needed to be careful with [the ROT funding],” Brown said. “The thought was if we have enough money to give it, why should the [New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority] give us any.”
The committee members agreed they should find out if the proposed sponsorship scenario would affect ROT funding before moving forward in exploring the option.
In her report at the end of the meeting Brown said last year’s Best in Show winners, the Semmels, sold the grand prize, a 17-foot Carolina Skiff, to make a large donation to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Surf City.