VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Tens of thousands of people packed the beach for the Something in the Water Festival at the Oceanfront, but only a fraction of that number showed up for an annual fundraiser down the way.
The Virginia Beach Youth Service Club (YSC) says charities are getting thousands of dollars less in donations this year because their main fundraiser, an Oyster and Pig Roast, didn’t get the usual crowds. About 2,500 people attended this year’s event. Organizers believe the popularity of the new festival led to their dwindled numbers.
YSC President-elect Aaron Peckham joked about it with club members, “You know what we are going to do next year, just contact Pharrell and say, ‘hey we got an event for sale for $500,000 and you can have this venue because you have filled up the beach pretty quickly.'”
The YSC is still figuring out what to do next year. “Whether we change the date or get a relationship with Something in the Water folks. It could be if you can’t beat ’em join ’em, “It went from a joke to there might be something in that we can really work with him to promote with him get some of the overflow traffic,” Peckham said.
Peckham says they were hurt by out of town supporters not coming to the YSC event due to traffic flow fears. “The city talking about traffic issues Friday afternoon. The big traffic coming in on 264, the rooms are booking up and sold out.”
He said ticket sales were down this year. Normally, they sell 3,500 tickets. This year, they sold 2,500. At $55 each, 1000 fewer tickets is a lot.
“The money we lost is money the community lost here that we weren’t able to give back to our community,” Peckham said.
YSC is one of the most generous organizations in our community, contributing to 29 organizations like EDMARC Hospice for Children. “Because of the money we got from the YSC we are able to provide free support to children and families in Hampton Roads. Otherwise it would cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, for a child to go through private therapy,” said Executive Director Debbie Stitzer-Brame.
YSC will have its fall festival at Camp Pendleton for charities November 9.