In a recent letter to the editor – “Where’s the positive economic impact?” - a local resident asked, “while you’re at it, please let me know how much Cobourg reaps from the Ribfest”.  Cobourg Rotarian Bill Johnson penned the following response.

Events such as Ribfest, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Cobourg help raise a lot of money. Money that has gone towards The Gordon King Centre; the Northumberland Hills Hospital; and most recently, the new Cobourg Community Centre to which Cobourg Rotary has recently pledged $300,000. These three Cobourg projects alone have seen Cobourg Rotary donate over one million dollars to these important town projects.
Another Waterfront Festival has come and gone and the Rotary Arts & Crafts Show has enjoyed a banner year. Rotarians are often asked, “Where does all the money you raise go?” Well, the Rotary Club of Cobourg would like you to know, and you may be surprised.

While final figures for this year’s Festival event are not yet available, we can tell you that in the Rotary Year 2009-2010, the Cobourg Club distributed more than $189,000.00 to worthy causes. That’s correct, more than $189,000.00 - and that, you’ll agree, is a sizeable sum. Of this amount, 65% (about $122,000) went to local causes while the remaining 35% went to support Rotary endorsed international projects.

It is important to understand that the Rotary Club never uses the funds that it raises from community events for Club purposes or benefit. Monies raised through Club sponsored events such as the annual Sportsman’s Night – the Arts and Crafts Show and Sale, and the August Northumberland Ribfest are used only for the benefit of local and international projects and needs.

In the Rotary year July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010, monies raised by the Rotary Club of Cobourg were distributed to worthy local causes such as CDCI East and West High Schools, St. Mary’s High School and CIS student scholarships; the United Way Back Pack program; the West Northumberland Girls Hockey Association; the Air Cadets; the purchase of a scale for the Fare Share Food Bank; the Northumberland Big Sisters/Big Brothers; hearing aid repairs for a man on disability; the purchase of a prosthetic leg for an amputee; the Salvation Army; to purchase an electric bed for a young quadriplegic; the purchase of a rare memorabilia collection for the Marie Dressler House; transportation to a Toronto hospital for a 15 year old Cobourg boy with a brain injury; to mention just a few.

So you see, there is an economic impact from Rotary sponsored events such as Ribfest. We hope to see you there.

W. E. Johnson