Mundelein returning sponsor donations, deposits for Community Days festival
In a show of sympathy over the economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mundelein officials are going to refund more than $28,000 in sponsorship donations, fees and deposits local businesses had made for this year's annual Community Days festival.
The village board formally approved the refunds Monday night during a meeting held remotely because of the statewide stay-at-home order.
Given the calamitous state of the economy, the members of the volunteer Community Days commission recommended Mundelein return the cash.
Village leaders agreed.
"It just wouldn't be right to keep the money," Village Administrator John Lobaito said before the meeting.
This year's Community Days festival is scheduled for July 2-5.
Village leaders regularly seek sponsors and vendors for the event, and they did so for this year's festival in December, months before the coronavirus began significantly affecting people and businesses in Illinois, Lobaito said.
Mundelein will return $22,450 in sponsorship donations to 28 businesses, $4,975 in food vendor application fees to five businesses and $600 in food vendor deposits to three restaurants, documents indicate.
Trustee Ray Semple called the situation "a punch to the gut."
"It's just the reality of 2020, unfortunately," Semple said Tuesday.
Village leaders haven't yet decided whether to hold the Community Days festival as planned or to cancel it as a health precaution. That determination will be made in May, Lobaito said.
The village's annual Memorial Day parade, also organized by the Community Days commission, already has been canceled. Trustees took that action Monday night.
Commission members expressed concern about the health and safety of many elderly veterans and community members who typically attend the parade and a ceremony at Memorial Park.
Social distancing requirements can't be met on a parade route, according to a village memo.
A small Memorial Day ceremony that could be broadcast to the community may still be held at village hall, officials said.