Red Hook turns to crowdfunding to fuel Hardscrabble Day

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A new crowdfunding campaign is underway in the Village of Red Hook. Officials hope to use the fundraising site Indiegogo to raise $2,500 for the annual Hardscrabble Day, which will be held on Sept. 21.

Crowdfunding has gained popularity in recent years as a way for communities of people to fund a project cooperatively. Internet users go the website, pledge an amount, and keep track of the progress. If the money is raised by the deadline, the project is funded and Indiegogo keeps a percentage as a fee for the service.

According to the campaign website, all $2,500 must be raised by July 28. As of the second week in June, only $50 had been pledged. If the goal is not reached, the Village will get to keep whatever amount was raised, but with a larger fee from Indiegogo: 9 percent instead of the 4 percent the village will be charged if it reaches the goal.

Village Trustee Jen Norris told The Observer, “We’ve been able to put on Hardscrabble Day for years with no charge, with the lion’s share of funding coming from local businesses and sponsors. [This] funding, while welcome and truly appreciated, is a lot of legwork and stress on our committee.”

Norris pointed out that most people buy a ticket to attend a festival or concert and she hoped that Red Hook residents would see a similar opportunity in Hardscrabble Day. “This is basically a concert in your backyard,” she said. “A concert where you’ll see all your friends and neighbors having a fabulous time…Not to mention all the events throughout the day, with vendors, children’s activities, food, a parade, all in the heart of the Village.”

Norris also encouraged residents to send money directly to the village if they wished, using checks made out to “Hardscrabble Community Association” and sent to Village Hall.

“The idea of a community coming together is really what the event is all about,” she said. “Any contribution would be a huge help and greatly appreciated!”

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