Community rallies to support Wichita Festivals through Hey Neighbor fundraiser campaign

KSN Digital Extra

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Hey Neighbor Campaign, an emergency fundraiser for the non-profit Wichita Festivals, which produces River Fest, officially kicked off just south of the old Wichita library Thursday. People in cars, on bikes, and some even on foot came to offer support in large sums and small.

In September, Wichita Festivals was forced to eliminate three staff positions, one-third of its staff, including the role of president and CEO, due to the cancellation of this year’s in-person River Fest as well as Autumn & Art being forced to go virtual.

The Hey Neighbor Campaign aims to generate some cash flow lost from concessions by taking donations digitally and by cash or check. The group is also selling $5 Hey Neighbor buttons, which are also available in some local stores.

Past Admirals Windwagon Smith safely collected donations from drivers with the help of stick grabbers and buckets.

“We stay afloat by selling buttons and sponsorships and merchandise and food and beverage and the city has supported us by buying buttons in coming out for the last 49 years and we want to do 49 more,” said Clay Bastian, 47Th Admiral WIndwagon Smith.

Through generous donations, Wichita Festivals said they raised over $6,000 during the three-hour event. The drive-thru campaign will continue through December.

Wichita Festivals is also accepting donations at Heyneighborict.com, where you can also find upcoming fundraising events for the organization.

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