Sponsor makes long-term commitment to eventWritten by Justin R. Kalmes | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Columbia Gas of Ohio ensured its position this year as the title sponsor of the Ribs on the River through 2010 by extending its original three-year commitment to five years.
Company spokesman Chris Kozak said the event, which will be in its second year Aug. 3 to 5 in Downtown Toledo’s Promenade Park, is an opportunity to give back to Toledo.
“We decided it was a good opportunity to serve Downtown Toledo and one of the major communities we serve,” Kozak said.
Kozak said last year’s inaugural event drew in excess of 30,000 people. He said event organizers hope to make this year’s Ribs on the River even more of a family-friendly event. The festival grounds this year will feature a children’s play area.
“We’re trying to have so much activity in the park that it becomes something you want to come to for a couple of days as opposed to just once,” Kozak said.
Tim Yenrick, executive director of the American Red Cross Greater Toledo Area Chapter, the benefiting charity of this year’s Ribs on the River, said the event would be the largest volunteer event for his organization. With around 500 disaster relief volunteers in the local American Red Cross database, Yenrick said the organization was more than up to the task of supplying help for the three-day festival.
“I think [CitiFest] felt we had a strong enough volunteer base to cover all three days of the event,” he said.
Yenrick’s organization will receive volunteer support from other Red Cross chapters in the region as well as KeyBank, the event’s other major sponsor.
As for how much money his organization would receive from event proceeds, Yenrick said he is unsure because of a program that will allow the local Red Cross chapter to receive a portion of every paid admission for individuals who return a raffle form.
“We’re thrilled to work with CitiFest, and we’re also thrilled to work with the major sponsors,” Yenrick said. “We’re hoping for good weather and lots of rib eaters.”