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Funds Pour in to Save Pier Concerts:

With a week left in the 18-day campaign, the pier announced it has raised nearly two-thirds of the $92,000 needed to save the free summer concert series from underfunding.

But another $29,000 is needed in the next week to save the series from a nearly 80 percent drop in sponsorship revenues for the 26-year-old series that has jeopardized the event for 2010, pier officials said.

“Residents, businesses and sponsors are voting with their wallets to see the concerts continue this summer,” said Ben Franz-Knight, executive director of the Santa Monica Pier Restoration Corporation. “We’re on our way, but we need more donations to save TDS.”

At it’s March 9 meeting, the City Council approved $35,000 matching grant to help the series. Since then, $28,000 was raised to bring total pier contributions are at more than $63,000.

Other major contribution include $20,000 from Pacific Park, a $5000 commitment from Naked Juice and over $3000 in individual donations.

The budget gap must be filled by March 24, 2010, when the pier’s board of directors will determine what other partnerships or fundraising opportunities will be considered.

“We have one week to raise at least another $29,000 from citizens and businesses and then Santa Monica can celebrate with a minimum of 7 great free concerts this summer,” said Kent Smith, Chair of the Pier Restoration Corporation Board. “We hope that the generosity of so many individuals, Pacific Park and Naked Juice® will encourage others to step forward and support this important community event.”

“As communities across the Southland face difficult cost-cutting decisions during these challenging times, the prospect of a year without the Twilight Dance Series tradition was not an option,” says Mary Ann Powell, CEO and General Manager of Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier. “It’s a privilege for Pacific Park to contribute to the funding for this year’s Twilight Dance Series along with the PRC, the City, Pier Tenants and community.”

Donations can be made online at www.santamonicapier.org where the pier is publicly thanking those who have already made contributions to the fundraising effort.

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