BY DAVE BLANK
When was the last time that you ran out to the mailbox to see if the mail person had delivered a letter that you had been waiting for? It’s probably been awhile. Nowadays most information is delivered by UPS or FedEx or online. There’s seldom a prolonged period waiting for “snail mail.”
Well, that’s the way it’s been for me lately. Around the first of the year, Real Racine submitted paperwork to the IRS for a formation of a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation to oversee all of the events, and event related activities that we do. We were told that it would take up to six months for approval. Throw in a government shutdown, and it could take longer. Finally, in early August the letter arrived with the good news.
“We’re pleased to tell you we determined you’re exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(3). Donors can deduct contributions they make to you under IRC Section 170.” So begins the official life of the “Real Racine Sports and Events Commission!
Why did we seek to establish a 501(c)(3) corporation? For years people have told me that the community would love to support our activities, but would not do so unless they could get a tax deduction. We now have a means to make this possible.
The Racine County Convention and Visitors Bureau, established in 1983, is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit corporation which means that potential donors could not write off their contributions to us. With this magic letter from the IRS in Cincinnati, Ohio that has changed.
We spend over $200,000 annually on things necessary to bring in events to Racine County which contribute millions of dollars to the local economy. These include:
- Bid fees to events rights holders
- Parks and street closure fees
- Facilities rental
- Buses and transportation
- Tents and equipment rental
- Advertising and promotion
- Food and beverage
- Contributions to volunteer groups
Bringing the Pro Watercross Tour to North Beach for their only Midwestern appearance was not free. Neither was the United States Australian Rules Football National Championship, or the Ironman Racine 70.3, or the Hot Rod Power Tour, etc. We compete and sell against cities, both large and small, from across the country to host these events which bring in thousands of participants and family/friends to the area and hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenditures.
We welcome tax-deductible contributions, either monetary, in-kind or equipment. You will enable us to bring in more events, which will increase the quality of life for residents, the visibility of Racine County and the amount of money brought into the county through tourism expenditures. Please contact Cari Greving at (262) 898-3323 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Checks can be made out to: Real Racine Sports and Events Commission, 14015 Washington Ave., Sturtevant, WI 53177.