Firebird Festival campaign nears its goal of $6,000
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.”
A large crowd gathers to watch the wooden phoenix burn during the annual Firebird Festival at Friendship Field in Phoenixville.