Fire­bird Fes­ti­val cam­paign nears its goal of $6,000

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS - By Eric Devlin ede­vlin@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @Eric_Devlin on Twit­ter

PHOENIXVILLE >> Hen­rik Stubbe Teglb­jaerg will be the first to ad­mit, he’s not a good sales­man. When the Phoenixville Fire­bird Fes­ti­val lost four ma­jor spon­sors this year, Teglb­jaerg, who or­ga­nizes the an­nual event, said he pan­icked think­ing he wouldn’t be able to raise the money needed to put it on.

“The cam­paign had to pay big bills with no money to pay them,” he said.

Yet, just like in years past, when the fes­ti­val faces an ob­sta­cle, the com­mu­nity ral­lies be­hind it. Teglb­jaerg turned to Joan Moore, of LuLu’s Bou­tique, for help spread­ing the word. And spread the word she did.

Com­mu­nity mem­bers hear­ing the news of the fes­ti­val’s fi­nan­cial cri­sis set up a cam­paign on the fundrais­ing web­site Gen­eros­ity, with a goal of rais­ing $6,000 by Dec. 2. As of Nov. 7, the cam­paign had al­ready raised $3,759, or 63 per­cent of that goal, in a lit­tle over two weeks. Now Teglb­jaerg and oth­ers are calling on the oth­ers in the com­mu­nity to help the fes­ti­val get over the hump.

“We’re ex­cited to have new peo­ple on board,” he said Mon­day. “We’re still not in the clear. We still need lots of money.”

The fes­ti­val, which Teglb­jaerg be­gan more than a decade ago, sym­bol­izes the bor­ough’s rise from the ashes of an eco­nomic down­turn by burning a giant wooden statue of a phoenix to the ground. Thou­sands from across the re­gion con­verge on the bor­ough for the cel­e­bra­tion that in­cludes lo­cal artists, ven­dors and per­form­ers.

The fundrais­ing cam­paign web­site fea­tures some of the ex­penses that need to be cov­ered in­clud­ing: Por­ta­ble re­strooms $2,100 Stage and sound sys­tem for mu­si­cians and per­form­ers - $2,500 Com­pen­sa­tion for mu­si­cians and per­form­ers $1,500 In­sur­ance for the fes­ti­val - $3,000 Posters, fly­ers and print­ing for pro­mo­tional ma­te­rial and pro­grams $1,000 Wood and ma­te­ri­als for con­struc­tion of the phoenix - $1,000

The fes­ti­val will also need vol­un­teers to help out on the day of the event. To vol­un­teer, visit Fire­birdFes­ti­val.com or con­tact or­ga­niz­ers on Face­book at https://www.face­book.com/ fire­birdfes­ti­val/

Teglb­jaerg said before he met with Moore he was ready to throw in the towel. Now he’s con­fi­dent the phoenix will rise again.

“It’s amaz­ing once peo­ple get to­gether how quickly things turn around,” he said. “I be­lieve we will pull it through.”

Teglb­jaerg said he was over­whelmed and hon­ored by the gen­eros­ity of the com­mu­nity. He said the sit­u­a­tion re­minded him of how the com­mu­nity came to­gether to re­build the bird in time for the fes­ti­val just like two years ago af­ter ar­son­ists pre­ma­turely burned down the wooden sculp­ture.

“There was so much help and sup­port,” he said. “The fes­ti­val be­came a sym­bol of this re­ju­ve­na­tion of our town. Peo­ple feel it’s an im­por­tant fes­ti­val. I want to do my part in main­tain­ing that.”

DIG­I­TAL FIRST MEDIA FILE PHOTO

A large crowd gath­ers to watch the wooden phoenix burn dur­ing the an­nual Fire­bird Fes­ti­val at Friend­ship Field in Phoenixville.

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