Games donors step up pledges

Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Since Arctic Winter Games officials went public with a $750,000 budget shortfall less than two weeks ago, donors have pledged nearly $100,000 cash and more than $100,000 worth of goods and services.

“People have really rolled up their sleeves and said, ‘Here’s what I can do,’”AWG General Manager Tim Dillon said Friday.

The donations came from several companies and the Canadian Consulate, with the largest contribution coming from Shell Oil at $50,000. Agrium donated $20,000, Marathon Oil donated $17,000 and the consulate chipped in $10,000 and a promise to provide beverages for the pre-opening Games reception.

The contracts with Marathon and the Canadian Consulate were in the works near the end of November, but the $27,000 cash and the in-kind donations from the consulate and Holiday Gas were the only pending sponsor contracts presented at that time.

“Some of it is just fresh this week,” Dillon said.

Also announced last week were Avis Alaska’s donation of $100,000 worth of rental vehicles and Soldotna Professional Pharmacy’s donation of $2,500 worth of medical supplies. The announcements were made during Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor John Williams’ inaugural reception.

Williams and Bill Popp, AWG revenue and development chair, met with Gov. Frank Murkowski on Nov. 2 to request a grant from the state to cover the shortfall. Although the governor’s budget plan was unveiled last week, the decision on the AWG grant is yet to be made.

“We are still in discussions with the governor,” Dillon said.

Tickets went on sale for the Games’ sporting events last week and are available at Ticketmaster locations, including Fred Meyer. Tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies will go on sale Jan. 2.

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