Washington County Board of County Commissioners Vote to Award The Maryland Symphony Orchestra $20,000 for 2008 Salute to Independence

Photo Credit: National Park Service, www.nps.gov/anti/salute.htm


Washington County Board of County Commissioners Vote to Award The Maryland Symphony Orchestra $20,000 for 2008 Salute to Independence

(Hagerstown, MD)- The Washington County Board of County Commissioners voted today to award $20,000 to the Maryland Symphony Orchestra for the 23rd Annual Salute to Independence to be held on Saturday, July 5 at the Antietam National Battlefield. The request for funding was presented jointly by The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Maryland Symphony Orchestra. The Commissioners unanimously approved the request, which will be funded through the County's share of the lodging tax.
"We are grateful for the support of the County, particularly in these tough times," said April Dowler, president of the board of the MSO. "The Salute to Independence is one of the largest community events and showcases two treasures of our area: The Maryland Symphony Orchestra and Antietam National Battlefield. The funding by the County is recognition of the significance of this event to the region."
The MSO has always benefited greatly from the generosity of citizens and businesses throughout Washington County and beyond. However, each year the costs involved in producing such an event increase and further funding becomes necessary. Direct costs for the celebration total over $100,000. In addition to the direct costs, approximately 40 businesses throughout the quad-state region donate over $80,000 in materials and services to produce this event.
"The Salute to Independence is a huge event...arguably the single largest tourism event attracting out of town people to Washington County," said CVB President and CEO Tom Riford, who spoke on behalf of the request. "With more than 35,000 attendees frequently enjoying what's been called 'Maryland's Most Patriotic Event,' the Salute helps publicize Antietam, the MSO and, Washington County, and is a wonderful celebration of America. I am very pleased that the County Commissioners stood behind an event that generates upwards of $500,000 of local economic impact for Washington County, creates positive renown for our community throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region, and provides a stirring example of what's good and positive about Washington County.
The MSO is the area's premier professional orchestra, dedicated to providing musical performances that educate and entertain, while enhancing the cultural environment of Western Maryland and the surround region.
The MSO is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business and Economic Development, the MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to non-profit organizations, units of government, colleges and universities for arts activities.
For more information about the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, see: www.marylandsymphony.org. For more information about the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, see: www.marylandmemories.com. For more information about the Antietam National Battlefield, see: www.nps.gov/anti. For specific information about this year's Salute to Independence, see: www.nps.gov/anti/salute.htm.