Between parking fees, sponsorships and ticket and token sales, the event, sponsored by the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce, brought in approximately $600,000 – a significant increase over last year’s less-than-stellar total. The 2010 event left the Chamber with nothing to share with volunteer groups that traditionally receive monetary thank-yous for their services.
Last Sunday, the Chamber hosted a CornFest wrap-up barbecue for the 21 nonprofits that helped out at this year’s event. CornFest chairman Dirk Zeigler informed the crowd that after all the bills were paid, the Chamber was left with $100,000 – half of which would go to the nonprofits. The crowd of nearly 100 guests erupted in cheers and applause.
“The Chamber was in a real bind last year, and they did the best they could, but in the end, there wasn’t any money to give back to the volunteers,” said Delta Community Services Director Barbara Guise. “I’m glad we didn’t back out like some of the other groups did. We’ve been with the CornFest for years, and we want to support the Chamber. Of course, we were hoping there’d be money for the volunteer groups this year, so I’m delighted that we got some money that we can use for our organization.”
Other volunteer groups honored at Sunday’s event were Brentwood Neighborhood Church, Boy Scout Troop 90, All Out Sports League, East Contra Costa Historical Society, Brentwood Lions Club, Delta Diablo Detachment 1155 Marine Corps League, American Legion Post 202, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Immaculate Heart EMMAUS Men and Women’s groups, Soroptimist of the Delta, Brentwood Kiwanis, Liberty High soccer, Brentwood Rotary, Freedom High Athletic Boosters, Soroptimist of East County, Brentwood Relay For Life, Heritage Athletic Boosters, Kids Helping Kids and Resurrection Ministries.
Chamber Support Services Director Lisa Hurt said the Chamber was glad it was able to give back to volunteer groups after being forced to turn them away last year. “A lot of people don’t realize that the CornFest is more than a festival; it’s a community fundraiser,” Hurt said. “We are so grateful for all of the returning nonprofits who pitched in this year.”
Zeigler said the CornFest will most likely return to the corner of Balfour and Sand Creek roads for the 2012 event, but measures will be taken to limit the dust. The Chamber did look into the option of applying an oil mixture to the grounds to help compact the dirt for this year’s event, but the service would have cost more than $200,000. Chamber Director Ken Seamann said dust was the main complaint about this year’s event, so the Chamber is looking into affordable ways to provide some type of ground cover to keep the dust flurries at a minimum, such as planting grass cover.
Seamann said the Chamber is still looking for feedback regarding this year’s event in order to help make next year’s CornFest an even greater success. To contact the Chamber, call 925-634-3344.