June 22, 2018

'New' Kennebunkport Festival seen as big success

Courtesy / Kennebunkport Festival Facebook page
Courtesy / Kennebunkport Festival Facebook page
In its first season as a grassroots-run event, the June 4-10 Kennebunkport Festival raised $81,194 for local charities.

In its first season as a grassroots-run event, the weeklong Kennebunkport Festival raised $81,194 for local charities. The June 4-10 festival included seven public events and seven "art of dining" dinners at local residences.

New to this year's festival, each venue or host was able to select their beneficiary.

"Participation throughout the week exceeded expectations and an impressive amount of money was raised for local charities," the Kennebunkport Festival Committee reported in its news release.

Formerly run by the Maine Media Collaborative, this year's festival was abruptly cancelled on April 30 in the wake of eight-year-old allegations of sexual harassment against its owner that just became public that week. But a new grassroots effort, calling itself the Kennebunkport Festival Committee, formed on May 1 and revived this year's festival just five weeks prior to its scheduled time.

The new Kennebunkport Festival Committee worked with local businesses and community members to ensure the continuity of the 14th annual festival, while expanding the charitable giving component to benefit more local non-profits.

Charities that benefited from this year's Kennebunkport Festival include: Full Plates Full Potential ($25,608); Good Shepherd Food Bank ($19,961); COS of the Kennebunks ($18,150); Maine Art Hill Scholarship for Arts at Kennebunk High School ($7,945); Kennebunkport Conservation Trust's Trust Our Children ($5,195); Animal Welfare Society ($2,350); and Habitat for Humanity ($1,985).

Host venues included: Stripers Waterfront Restaurant at The Breakwater Inn & Spa; The Burleigh at The Kennebunkport Inn; Old Vines Wine Bar; Maine Art Hill; Wells Reserve at Laudholm; Kennebunkport Conservation Trust and The Colony Hotel.

"It takes a village, as they say, and this year's Kennebunkport Festival was a true grass-roots effort," said Louise Hurlbutt of Hurlbutt Designs. "Our community showed its strength by coming together and supporting this event. My fellow committee members and I couldn't be happier with the positive feedback we received and the amount of money we raised for charity."

Erin Fogg, vice president of development for Good Shepherd Food Bank, said the nonprofit was "honored" to be a beneficiary of the festival's fundraising event.

"Funds raised through the Kennebunkport Festival will be directly invested in our work to serve the more than 16% of Mainers who struggle with food insecurity," she said. "Your support is making a difference in the lives of our neighbors."

The committee — John Spain, Maine Art Hill; Louise Hurlbutt, Hurlbutt Designs; Melissa Freeman, Hurlbutt Designs; John Martin, The Colony; Danielle Johnson Walker, Walker's Maine; Justin Grimes, The Kennebunkport Resort Collection; and Jim Darroch, Backyard Farms — reported that discussions are already underway for the 15th annual The Kennebunkport Festival in 2019.

Read more

'Grassroots' coalition steps in to save Kennebunkport Festival

Breaking: Kennebunkport Festival 2018 is a 'go' after all

Maine Media Collective severs ties with owner, cancels festival


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