Christ Church Cathedral’s long-running Strawberry Festival took over Monument Circle on Thursday, with tasty offerings and, even better, community-building results. “The crowd seemed more consistent throughout the day this year than in the past,” says Marcia Taylor, publicity chair for Cathedral Women. “It was around 3 o’clock or 3:30 before we noticed a lull in the lines.”
The event, which ran 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., featured live entertainment and satiated appetites. “Thankfully the weather cooperated,” Taylor says. “Today [Friday] would’ve been our rain date. We haven’t had that in the last three years.”
>> Here’s a look at the tantalizing numbers from the event (and see below for more on its charitable outreach):
20,000 Attendees, including takeaway dishes, with about 2,000 receiving just berries and ice cream by the end
5 Tons of strawberries
850 Gallons of whipped cream
$60,000 Given to charities in 2011, primarily serving 24 nonprofit organizations that aid women and children
(Taylor: “Preliminary figures show that we were up this year, but I don’t yet have the hard total.”)
95 Percent of proceeds go to charities
5 Percent of remaining proceeds are put toward next year’s operating costs for the festival
47 Years (1965), originally on the CCC lawn before taking over the Circle
175 Years of existence that the CCC parish will celebrate later this year, dating back to 1837
Taylor says that past beneficiaries of Strawberry Festival efforts include Girls, Inc.; the Damien Center; Indy Reads; the Good News Mission; and local churches and orgs that need assistance with projects. For example, Good News Mission received funds for security cameras. Taylor emphasizes that, though a project may require a lot of money, every bit helps, and the Cathedral is glad to supply a portion toward major projects as well. She advises applicants to not be daunted by the total funds they need.
“People can go on our website and download a grant application,” Taylor says. “We have two grant reporting periods that end on September 1 and February 15.” Apps are then reviewed, with monies doled out in mid-October and mid-March.
And that, fellow citizens, is what community is all about. It sure doesn’t hurt when the goodwill comes from eating strawberries and cream.