The Virgin Islands Search & Rescue’s (VISAR) Winter Wonderland hosted by the Cyril B Romney Tortola Pier Park managed to raise an estimated $57,000 during the fundraising initiative.
This was revealed during a recent interview with VISAR’s Executive Creative Director, Julie Schneider who told BVI News that the success of the event saw a huge turnout from residents across the territory.
“We want to thank the 3,000-plus skaters, 1,500 plus village visitors, 25 sponsors, 38 student volunteers and 15 staff members that all helped us raise $57,000 from our Winter Wonderland fundraiser. Whilst the rink required a sizable investment to bring to fruition, we are financially on track and very happy with our first year’s return on investment,” Schneider said.
“We hope that 2021’s Winter Wonderland will see even more skaters and visitors as the rink becomes a much-anticipated holiday event in the BVI,” she added.
Makes up for half the operation budget
Schneider also said that due to financial difficulties experienced by VISAR as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the monies raised will be used towards keeping the operations of the organisation going.
“VISAR’s income comes from donations, fundraisers, grants and donations from the charter industry which donates $2 per person per charter. This programme makes up half of our operating budget and due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions, the charter industry donations have dropped dramatically. These funds made from Winter Wonderland will go directly to ensuring we can keep our doors open,” she explained.
Hoping for summer return
The Executive Creative Director further hinted at the possibility of the ice-skating rink returning to the territory during the summer, and other new features that will accompany the event once it returns.
She said: “There has been interest in bringing it back during the summer but as of now, this has just been in conversation. We will be debriefing the event over the next few weeks and will be discussing new features for next year such as skating lessons, intro to ice hockey for kids and adults, 18-and-over skate night, and much more.”
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