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Florida Jazz Society Continues eBay Search for a Hero

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Refusing to let the music die, the North East Florida Jazz Association (NEFJA) continues its search for a hero to sponsor the Legacy Jazz Festival '08. The Title Sponsorship for their 3rd annual jazz fest is up for auction on eBay again despite the fact that no celebrity or corporate heroes seized the opportunity to save the economically threatened jazz festival. “We were in communication with cultural icons, political candidates, corporate CEO's and well-known philanthropists, but no one stepped up to the plate," said NEFJA President Muriel McCoy.

There were close to 100 “lookers" at the most recent Festival listing on eBay, but no one placed the $25,000 minimum bid for the Title Sponsorship package that offered a plethora of perks including naming rights, national publicity, a scholarship presented in the winner's name, a commemorative sculpture created by an internationally acclaimed Cuban ceramic artist and other benefits in return for helping the non-profit volunteer jazz society finance the Legacy Jazz Festival '08 scheduled for May 10 - 11 in Palm Coast, Florida. The Festival will feature jazz legends like Freddy Cole, Eddie Henderson, Doug Carn, Javon Jackson, and others legendary performers as well as Vincent Gardner and other previous NEFJA scholarship winners.

NEFJA's newest listing on eBay (item # 150234757592) reduced the opening bid from $25,000 to $1,000 and the Title Sponsorship perks no longer include the customized Florida recreational package or the Meet the Performers after-fest event. The key features like festival naming rights, the NEFJA scholarship, and the one-of-a-kind are still part of the package. Hard core reality may have forced the Florida jazz society to lower the asking price of the festival sponsorship, but their expectations remain high. “With a lower starting bid, the title sponsorship may appeal to a successful entrepreneur who wants to make his or her mark in a unique way. This can represent a rare opportunity to create an indisputable cultural legacy--paying tribute to Jazz, this country's greatest unique art form --honoring its illustrious history and paving the way for future generations," stated NEFJA President Muriel McCoy. “To a jazz lover with the financial resources to make it happen, what this opportunity represents is more than important--it's essential," McCoy added. “And to be publicly recognized as a hero, well there's nothing wrong with that! Besides, we're a non-profit, so the sponsorship can be deductible."

McCoy insists that the festival itself and the quality of talent will not be sacrificed even if a Title Sponsor doesn't come to the rescue. “Businesses are struggling here in Flagler County and many previous sponsors aren't able to help this year...but funds are slowly coming in. There are too many people counting on the Legacy Jazz Fest, including the musicians, the local community, and most importantly the 2008 scholarship applicants who will be named next month. The show will go on," McCoy stated emphatically.

For more than two decades, NEFJA, a 501 (c)(3) not-for profit organization, has been dedicated to perpetuating and promoting jazz by making live, world-class jazz performances available to audiences in northeast Florida and by providing scholarships to talented music students enrolled in a jazz studies program at a Florida college or university. To date, NEFJA has provided $27,000 in scholarships and many previous recipients have gone on to become professional musicians or music educators.

This story appears courtesy of Phred, Inc..
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