WICKER PARK — A suggested $5 donation to enter Do Division Street Fest in June has brought a payout to the fundraising arms of three local schools: checks totaling $18,805.
Kara Salgado, executive director of the West Town Chamber of Commerce, on Wednesday gave checks of $8,575 each to representatives from Friends of Pritzker School and from the LaSalle II PTO during traveling check presentation ceremonies at the schools.
Representatives from another school, Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy at 1840 W. Ohio St., received a check for $1,655, on Wednesday, which was three percent of the gate donations, Salgado said.
Salgado said the money given to the fundraising arms of Pritzker Elementary School and LaSalle II Magnet School each represented 9 percent of the gate fees from donations collected at the fest entrance, plus half the revenue made from sponsors and vendors at a kid-friendly portion of the festival.
LaSalle II and Pritzker parents were involved in producing a kid-friendly Do Division Family Fest within the main festival. Talcott's parent volunteers were not involved in planning the family fun fest at Do Division and so received less money, Salgado said.
Suzy McClure, co-chairman of Friends of Pritzker's Do-Division Kids Fest committee, called the event "our biggest fundraiser of the year."
"As a neighborhood school, it's good to be at the Do-Division Fest so people can see the school in a positive light," said McClure.
The Pritzker group is unsure of what it will do with the money from the fest. In previous years, funds from the Do-Division Fest were used to renovate the school's computer lab, McClure said.
Salgado declined to provide a revenue total for all of Do-Division Fest's gate proceeds and from sponsors and vendors.
In May, shortly before fest season kicked off, the leaders of several neighborhood groups asked for transparency on festival profits and requested that the area festival organizers share their financial statements with the public.
"Since that transparency request came from the local residents group presidents, we held a meeting with other chamber producers of events and we are working on a standard template of information to share about the finances of events to the public that all chambers across the city can use," Salgado said.
Salgado added, "Until that time we are just allowed to release the amount we donate to schools. "
Salgado said Talcott will receive a payout from July's West Fest soon, where volunteers from the West Town school planned a kids fest within the Chicago Avenue festival.
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