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Gersh: PortFest Was 'A Fantastic Day for Port Washington'

The festival's organizer on the event, and its boost for arts education.

Residents are still buzzing about Saturday's first-ever , a day celebrating local artists and supporting creative arts education in Port Washington. 

Patch checked in with Damon Gersh, the founder of HEARTS – which organized the event. Here's what he had to say about the inaugural event:

Patch: What did you think of PortFest? Was it what you hoped it would be?

Gersh: PortFest was a tremendous success for HEARTS and a fantastic day for Port Washington! The feedback we've been receiving has been universally and overwhelmingly positive – the weather was ideal and the artists, performers, vendors and volunteers all contributed to help make PortFest such a fun and memorable landmark event for our community. Several lifelong Port residents told us that that there's never been anything like PortFest in all the years they've lived here and thanked HEARTS for bringing new ideas and youthful energy to the community.

The months of planning by our grassroots team of dedicated volunteers really paid off and the event exceeded our expectations in many ways. So many attendees told us how impressed they were with the layout and organization of the festival – especially for our first-ever event! All of the planned activities flowed smoothly and remained on-schedule according to plan.

Patch: How many people attended?

Gersh: Since admission to PortFest was free we didn't maintain any official attendance counts however we've received estimates that between 2,500 to 3,000 attendees that visited PortFest throughout the course of the day to enjoy the live bands, school performances, art exhibit and fun activities.

Patch: Do you know yet how much money you raised for the arts, and if so how much?

Gersh: While we haven't yet completed our accounting for the event, initial estimates are that we raised approximately $20,000 to support arts education thanks to the generosity and support of our partners, sponsors, supporters and event attendees.  We're very proud of our accomplishment of being able to provide a platform for the arts in our community while raising significant funds to help enrich the creative arts programs in Port Washington's public schools.  

Patch: Anything else you'd like to share?

Gersh: I'm incredibly impressed by the committed team of volunteers who came together and did such an outstanding job in helping create such an extraordinary experience in such a short period of time. HEARTS looks forward to working closely with the school district and community partners to support and enrich the creative arts programs that are provided to the children in our public schools.

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