ENGLEWOOD — Despite the success and growth of the annual May Daze, founder Terry Hargis had to cancel this year’s event because of lack of financial support.
“We had problems finding sponsors since they’ve been dropping us,” Hargis said.
The success of May Daze, an annual fundraiser to raise money and nonperishable food donations for Englewood Helping Hand, came at a hefty cost to Hargis in the last few years. Terry, along with his wife, Lee, organize the event.
“Main reason why is that from last year we were at a $3,000 loss to vendors,” said Willie Miller, who co-produces May Daze with Terry. “Terry had to pay the difference back to the vendors out of pocket (despite their provided discounts) and he’s been doing so for the past few years to make up for the financial losses.”
Miller is president of Mill-Jenn Entertainment, which works with restaurants and clubs. He provides entertainment for the event.
“There are a lot of businesses down on the water who benefit from (the presence of) May Daze,” Miller said. “If they contributed (to our event), we’d be better off.”
May Daze was last held at Party Cove at marker 20 just south of the Boca Grande Causeway on the Intracoastal Waterway in Placida.
Hargis said one of the ideas is for reorganization is developing a membership drive.
“We were getting so much response from people,” Hargis said. “We wanted to thank the people who supported us.”
Miller said the key for May Daze to continue is more combined support from area businesses and the community. A kind of support, Hargis said, was lacking in the past few years, citing an incident when people were complaining about paying for T-shirts they expected to be free.
“We’re preparing for 2014 and we want to apologize to those who supported us,” Miller said. “May Daze has become one of the biggest family boating events in the country. We have the potential to be one of the biggest in the world since we had people call us from Germany and Italy.”