The information below comes from Ravinia Festival.
Ravinia Festival has donated $798,818 to its hometown of Highland Park in the fourth year of a 10-year agreement where the festival donates 5 percent of its annual gross ticket revenue to the city to use as needed, according to a news release from Ravinia.
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The amount of the contribution to the city has increased each of the first four years of the program’s life, with $780,655 given in 2011, $758,000 in 2010 and $710,000 in 2009, for a total of more than $3 million to date.
"Ravinia Festival is key to the lives of so many Highland Park residents. It’s a place of first jobs and first dates and more than a few favorite memories... But it is also an important economic engine for our city," said Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering in the release.
Ravinia's contribution goes towards paying for city services like hiring police officers to patrol and protect the festival grounds as well as manage Highland Park traffic on concert nights, according to Rotering.
"This annual contribution is one more way Ravinia enhances not just the cultural but the fiscal health of our community, and we are very appreciative," Rotering said.
Ravinia CEO Welz Kauffman said that Ravinia is proud to be "a first-class corporate citizen of the city of Highland Park."
"Our roots and our futures are deeply entangled to mutual benefit," Kauffman said. "Sharing our ticket revenue with our hometown underscores the fact that when Ravinia does well, Highland Park does well."
Before reaching this agreement with the city, Ravinia supported Highland Park by contributing more than $2.7 million over 13 years to local not-for-profits through YEA Highland Park, which distributed these funds to agencies dedicated to youth, education, the arts and social programs. Over those same years Ravinia contributed an additional $2.5 million in marketing and staff resources to help ensure the success of the YEA! benefit.
The city of Highland Park continues to fund YEA with a portion of Ravinia’s annual contribution under the new arrangement and Ravinia provides free tickets for the group to host an annual fundraiser.