In September, invitations to apply were sent to almost 200 halls throughout the state. Eligible halls (50 years or older) could apply for reimbursement of building related costs that continued to accrue even with halls completely shut down. The Relief Fund functioned as a reimbursement grant, covering specific expenses directly related to the building such as insurance and utilities. Thirty-two halls from across the state applied, submitting receipts for over $250,000 worth of expenses.
Our fundraising goal set, TDHP launched the public fundraising effort through press releases, news appearances, and a steady stream of social media content. Donations came in, but in this uncertain time we knew we had set a lofty goal. In mid-November we received a call that would change the entire situation. A generous anonymous donor notified us that we would receive a check for $250,000 – we would reach, and exceed, or goal. Our grand total was $265,809 in Relief Fund donations, going entirely to the halls in need.
Exceeding our initial goal, we were able to request even more months of utility bills to reimburse. Individual halls requests ranged from $1,200 to almost $50,000 – and each one was fully granted.
Receipts and bills were verified and organized, and on December 29th, TDHP sent out 32 checks to the applicant halls. The feedback we received from hall owners was heartwarming, and we were so grateful to be able to help so many halls during this unprecedented time.