Lazy Daze Dollars Boost Cary Nonprofits

The Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival is widely known as a fun-filled family activity, but what often goes unseen is the philanthropic role the festival provides to the Town of Cary.

While the festival has been turning a profit since its inaugural event in 1977, it has come a long way since the first year, when the $500 profit was used to purchase a large tent for the recreation department.

Now, the profits have turned into the Lazy Daze grant program, which allows Cary nonprofits to apply for grants to promote local cultural arts. Last year, the event supplied 31 different Cary organizations with $37,000 in grant money.

In total, Lazy Daze has raised more than $530,000 since 1977, all of which has been funneled back into the Cary community.

“We want people to see how Lazy Daze is giving back and feeding the money back into the community,” said Town of Cary Festivals Coordinator Joy Ennis. “We give back through these grants to focus on arts in a larger way.”

The grants return money to community nonprofits to promote arts and cultural arts in the area. Organizations that apply for grant money must specify what the money will go toward and recipients are chosen through the festival committee.

Priority is given first to cultural arts organizations or projects, then to projects that support Town of Cary and downtown initiatives, and lastly to other Cary-based nonprofits.

Ennis says the committee receives an overwhelming number of requests — typically much more than the festival can provide. Last year, the committee received 45 requests totaling $93,000, with grant requests typically up to $3,000 each.

Find out how these recipients of Lazy Daze grants use the funds to give back to the Cary community: 

Cary Players Community Theatre Company

Life Experiences

Friends of the Page-Walker Hotel

The Carying Place

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