Flushing Town Hall meets $35,000 campaign challenge

By Madina Toure

Flushing Town Hall has met its campaign goal of raising $35,000 to match funding from an anonymous donor ahead of its Feb. 28 deadline.

Since September, more than 300 people made contributions by mail or online or dropped off donations. By Feb. 10, the organization had raised more than $41,000.

Sami Abu Shumays, Flushing Town Hall’s deputy director, said the arts sector has seen many cuts over the last few years.

“The most important thing to us is to keep functioning so we can serve the community,” Shumays said. “It’s great when someone steps up and says that they’re essentially willing to help fill in the gaps that come in from some of the other sources.”

Last fall, an anonymous patron of the arts contacted a member of Flushing Town Hall’s board of trustees saying that if the arts organization raised $35,000 in either new or increased contributions by the end of February, the donor would match that amount with an additional $35,000.

The “35” in the campaign goal of $35,000 represents this year’s 35th anniversary of the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, an affiliate member of the Smithsonian Institution and a member of the city’s 33-member Cultural Institutions Group.

At the time, through a board member, the donor said the organization is an unnoticed group is a “hidden gem” that will continue to thrive with the support of its patrons.

“I truly believe in this institution — and I hope that this challenge will motivate others to open their wallets and hearts, thereby enabling this gem to shine brighter than ever, enriching the culture of this diverse community,” the donor said.

Shumays said the challenge will formally continue until Feb. 28 and that the not-for-profit will continue to accept donations.

“We always welcome and we always need individual donations, so we welcome people to donate at any time because that helps us to continue our mission,” he said.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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