Time for Giving Day | ParkRecord.com

Time for Giving Day

Park City’s nonprofits hope they are on people’s lists on the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year in America.

With the national economy in tatters and people in Park City worried about business during the ski season, local nonprofits want to make sure donations do not dry up.

"It’s very difficult — probably the most difficult it’s been in 10 years," says Teri Orr, the executive director of the Park City Performing Arts Foundation, the nonprofit that manages the Eccles Center.

Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council, in a show of support for the city’s influential not-for-profit sector, recently declared Friday to be ‘Giving Day,’ a day when the elected officials hope Parkites donate to the groups.

Giving Day is a national movement to promote nonprofits.

Several nonprofit leaders were in attendance as the City Council endorsed Giving Day and the organizations. Orr says fundraising campaigns at the end of the year are a "big part" of the foundation’s annual budget.

The economic downturn has hurt Orr’s foundation, she says, with a third fewer shows scheduled for lack of sponsors. She says it is the first time in a decade the foundation’s Pillow Theater did not receive sponsor money and the foundation’s staff has been reduced by two people through attrition.

Orr talks about the importance of Park City’s nonprofits, mentioning the Mountain Trails Foundation, the People’s Health Clinic, the Kimball Art Center and the Egyptian Theatre being among those of note.

"It would be like a tooth missing out of a smile on Main Street," she says of the landscape if the Egyptian were to go dark.

The elected officials did not discuss the Giving Day resolution at length before endorsing the one-page statement. It says "Park City is blessed" by the local nonprofits, which provide a range of services and programs. There are an "extraordinary number of worthy non-profits," the statement says.

"We have much to be grateful for this holiday season but with today’s uncertain economy and world events it is more important than ever to give and volunteer to a local non-profit because it makes a positive impact on our entire community," the statement says.

Williams says he understands the statement will not start a run on donations to the nonprofits, but he says "hopefully there will be some people who hear the message."

"Hopefully everyone can come up with a little something," Williams says.

The Park City Foundation keeps a lengthy list of nonprofit organizations, with statements about their mission and contact information. The list is available online, http://www.theparkcityfoundation.org. Choose ‘Nonprofits’ at the foundation’s home page and then choose "Nonprofit directory." The directory can be downloaded.

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