The affordable housing cause got another boost this weekend when the annual Housing on the Tube fundraiser broke its goal of $650,000.
“We exceeded every benchmark that we set out for ourselves this year,” said Island Affordable Housing Fund executive director Patrick Manning. “We have surpassed our goal of $650,000. That was our goal this year, and we were focusing on that in a time where you have an economic downturn around the world.”
The three-day telethon took place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with a dance party on Saturday night at the Field Club in Katama.
Finals numbers were still being tallied yesterday, but Mr. Manning said it was certain that they had surpassed the $650,000 mark. He said he and his crew were hopeful about reaching the goal, despite the state of the economy. “We were braced to work twice as hard,” he said.
Over the weekend, 140 volunteers assembled at the school or hit the pavement to help raise money for the fund, which subsidizes affordable housing options for year-round residents.
The event was aired by Plum TV, and sponsored by Colonial Reproductions Inc., Comcast, and Cronig’s Market. Even after the broadcast ended at 8 p.m. Sunday, volunteers continued to receive calls from people hoping to make last minute donations. The number of supporters offering donations in smaller amounts increased this year. “For a fund-raising organization, that is so very important, to have a broad base of givers,” said Mr. Manning.
He said the Saturday night party and music festival with special guest Kim Carnes and Ernie and the Automatics was a huge success, with partygoers staying until well after midnight. “Everyone was just singing along . . . they rocked the place,” Mr. Manning said, adding:
“People just kept staying, and they kept playing. The food and the drink kept flowing. People were amazed at how the musicians were very accessible, and just wanted to continue to play and entertain. People were saying they had never seen a party of this scope before on the Island. We always try to mix it up, and we always try to give more than what people are expecting.”
Now that the weekend is over, the team at the Affordable Housing Fund will spend the next couple of days tallying up the total amount raised. Mr. Manning said it takes some time after the event is over to add up the online donations. They are certain that they surpassed goal, set purposefully below last year’s million-dollar mark.
“We’re all sitting back right now, very proud of what the whole Affordable Housing family has accomplished . . . After all the preparation for the weekend, it allows us now to take a deep breath, see where we came in, and send out some thank-you notes,” Mr. Manning said.