The Lake Improvement Association (LIA) today announced it is donating $20,000 to save the 2013 Governor's Cup Regatta on Grand Lake St. Marys . The LIA also provided the leadership to rally other local organizations and businesses to raise an additional $19,000 in funds to sponsor and promote the regatta. The LIA decided to fund the regatta after learning the event had been canceled for 2013 due to lack of sponsorships. The regatta will be held on August 24 & 25, 2013.
“The economic impact and positive exposure of the Governor's Cup Regatta is too significant to pass up, and fortunately the LIA's members have put our organization in a position to make a one-time donation to bring the event back to Grand Lake St. Marys,” said LIA President Tim Lovett. “We also wish to express gratitude to the other businesses and organizations that have joined us and answered the call to make the 2013 Governor's Cup Regatta a reality, and an event that all Grand Lake St. Marys stakeholders stand to benefit from.”
“ODNR is proud to have Grand Lake St Marys host the Governor’s Cup Regatta,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “As a Mercer County native, I’m excited, but not surprised, to see so many local organizations step up to make this event possible. ODNR understands the importance of Grand Lake as a regional tourist attraction and we’re committed to the success of this event.”
“This quick reaction to saving the race is so demonstrative of the appreciation and commitment our whole region has towards helping the lake”, Milt Miller, manager of the Grand Lake St Marys Restoration Commission, said. “We have so much positive momentum occurring right now and this event will bring thousands of visitors to our wonderful body of water and realize its open for enjoyment.”
“The efforts of those over the last couple days plus those who told us to carry over their support from last year’s event that we had to cancel helped make this race possible, goes to show what a valuable asset an event like the Governors Cup Regatta is to this area,” said Allen Baskett from the Governors Cup Regatta Committee. “Our committee was pretty down last Friday when we crunched the numbers and had to make the painful decision to cancel. Now our committee volunteers can continue to pull everything together. To bring the fastest inboard hydroplanes from throughout the country to Celina.”
Auglaize & Mercer Counties Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Donna Grube noted that the economic impact of the Governor’s Cup Regatta reaches far into the community and greatly benefits local businesses. Using the state’s formula for visitor spending, Grube said, the weekend event easily generates 2.5 to 3 million dollars for the area. She added that almost as important as the money is the positive word of mouth concerning Grand Lake St. Marys that is generated by the visitors attending the event. She added that with social media like Facebook and Twitter, Regatta pictures and the accounts of fun times at Grand Lake St. Marys can make their way before hundreds of thousands of potential visitors during the weekend.
One of the premier events in the hydroplane racing world, the Governor's Cup Regatta was set to be canceled for the third time in four years before the LIA and other contributors determined to revive the event.