Miracle Makers: Fairport Music and Food Fest
Outstanding Commitment by a Community Group
Spirited Community Group is on a Roll with Giving
After 4 years of exponential growth, the Fairport Music and Food Fest (FMFF) has become one of the most anticipated community fundraisers of the year. With dozens of bands, food vendors galore and numerous activities for kids culminating at the end of the summer along the Erie Canal, who wouldn’t want to attend this annual knock-out fundraiser?
The event, which has raised more than $150,000 for the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Golisano Children’s Hospital in just 4 years, is an outgrowth of what started and still continues to be the Ed Kaufman Golf Tournament, also a benefit for Golisano Children’s Hospital. “The event is great, but we wanted to find another vehicle to generate more revenue,” said Andy McDermott, co-organizer of FMFF.
“We tried to figure out a good way to throw a party without ruining our collective lawns,” joked Rob Burch, who shares the responsibility of organizing the event with McDermott.
The Village of Fairport extended their support for a music festival fundraiser along the Eric Canal, offering to close off a section of Lift Bridge Lane from noon to dark to make space for the bands, vendors, kids’ activities and all of the attendees. The village and organizers also provide three stages and sound for area bands, who perform at the event for free. By the time August rolls around, the event garners roughly 170 wonderful volunteer participants, including vendors, bands, girl scouts and cub scouts, Fairport sports teams and many other dedicated supporters. The community’s support for the fundraiser has helped make it wildly successful. The first year, FMFF raised $13,700 for the hospital and each following year, the event has broken its previous record. Last year, the event quadrupled the first year’s total, netting $57,000.
The growth of this event is no fluke. McDermott and Burch spend about 10 months a year planning for Fairport Music and Food Fest. The two are joined by about 10 committee members, who help plan from the beginning of January until the day of the festival, which will begin this year at 12 p.m., Saturday, August 29.
“It’s a hobby for us, so it really doesn’t seem like work,” explained Burch. One would be hard-pressed to find a more worthwhile hobby than helping the children in our community.
For their hard work, ambition and enthusiasm, Golisano Children’s Hospital is proud to honor the community group that organizes Fairport Music and Food Fest with a Miracle Maker Award. For more information on this year’s 5th annual festival, visit www.fairportmusicfest.com.