The Madison Park Business Association got an early start on this year’s community events planning this week, and is looking at how limited funding can be put to the best use when it comes to promoting the neighborhood.
A major annual budget item for the MPBA is the holiday lighting it provides on trees along East Madison Street. MPBA president Erik Wicklund of Wicklund Real Estate said it’s the setup and takedown cost that’s high, not the energy consumption.
The cost had gone down from $6,500 in years past, and the MPBA was in talks with the Madison Park Community Council to share costs when the traditional contractor went ahead and put them up last year, Wicklund said. The contractor did end up cutting the $5,023 cost to the business association in half.
After deducting the cost of holiday lighting, the MPBA’s account was at $1,538. Keeping annual dues this year to $248, with 20 paying members, the MPBA would take in $4,960.
With annual community events MPBA members support and organize, Wicklund said he doesn’t think the association can keep absorbing the full cost of the holiday lights currently, so the hope is to have someone step up to raise funds. Last year’s request to MPBA members was $192 for the lights.
The first MPBA community event coming up on the calendar will be the Sidewalk Sale, which takes place after the Fourth of July. Businesses expand their sales to outside their shops for four days, and there’s a parade on Saturday that shuts down East Madison Street down to McGilvra Boulevard East.
Denali Fitness owner Michelle Croom has played a big part in organizing kids activities in the Madison Park playfield, Wicklund said, as well as the Music in the Park events that traditionally take place Thursday nights in August. Sponsorships are very helpful when it comes to covering musician costs, he added.
Ila Nazarco, manager for the Madison Park HomeStreet Bank, has run the Madison Park Art Walk for the past two years. That takes place after Labor Day, and roughly 30 Madison Park businesses participate, showing pieces by local artists and putting out small bites.
Wicklund cautioned MPBA members during the Feb. 27 meeting that, should Nazarco and Croom no longer be able to take the time to organize these events, the association would need more members to step up to keep them going. MPBA member Janis Maloney said there used to be more business involvement and sponsorships when it came to community events.
“Now, you drink or count your money,” she said.
Wicklund said he thinks the MPBA could take on organizing more community events if it manages to shore up holiday lighting costs.
John Madrid, managing broker at Realogics|Sotheby’s International Realty, said planning will soon get underway for the Madison Park Home & Garden Tour, which takes place on June 3. Around 300 people took the tour in 2017, which raised $10,000 for McGilvra Elementary, Madrid said, crediting Seattle’s many garden clubs for spreading the word about the event. He said he hopes to get eight outstanding homes signed on to participate this year.