Friday, April 24th, 2009
The race is on
By William Kincaid
The 2009 Governor's Cup Regatta is a now a sure thing for this summer despite earlier reports of a possible no-show due to lack of sponsorship.
Late last month, Co-chairman Tom Saddler said he feared Celina would go without the speed boat race and festivities for the first time in 14 year because of the troubled economy.
Some major sponsors did pull out, but many others came forward since that time, saving the Regatta, Saddler said.
The committee cut the $60,000 budget by a third, in addition to recent confirmation of support by past sponsors.
So Regatta committee members on Thursday night decided to keep the race afloat. The Governor's Cup is scheduled for Aug. 22nd and 23rd.
"We're pretty happy about that. We didn't want to lose the momentum we built up over the last few years," he said.
"We got a much larger participation from sponsors than we thought we would," Saddler told the newspaper on Friday morning. He thanked those loyal sponsors who stood with the race.
The committee also received assistance from the media.
"We've gotten a lot of support from TV stations and Time Warner. That was a huge help for us," Saddler said, adding that the media response took the pressure off the committee's marketing budget.
Since announcing that the regatta may not have funds to hold the annual summer event, he said, "There's been a lot of good things happening for us,"
Asked about what was lost in the $20,000 budget cut, Saddler said there will be no band hired this year. He also said there were some internal changes and some concessions made by the racers. He remained mum on the those specifics.
However, Saddler promised the cuts will not take away from the spectator's enjoyment of the race.
"It won't affect the show from a spectator standpoint," Saddler said, pointing out the event is still free.
Preregistration for racers will begin the next few weeks.
"I don't think we'll have a problem with boat count at all," he said.
Also, Saddler said the committee is moving ahead with printing posters and brochures and updating the Web site.
The committee is a non-profit organization that puts all returns into additional marketing and advertising. It is intended to provide a race for the community and to promote the area.