Nederland Heritage Festival raises essential funds for SETX organizations

Gray skies and a chance of rain didn't keep the crowds from coming out to the Nederland Heritage Festival Saturday.

With great food, rides, and live music there's something for everyone. But one of the most important parts of the festival is the cash it rakes in year after year.

"We donate approximately $50,000 back to this community," said festival director Wanda Hollier. "We've bought flak jackets for the police department, we've helped out with video equipment with the fire department."

"This brings in people from all over the state... we welcome them, we're excited they're spending their money here, buying our food, using our gas stations," said Jinni Akins with the Nederland Chamber of Commerce.

Every food vendor along the famous "Cuisine Walk" is a non-profit organization working hard to raise money that helps sustain their efforts.

"Our club has two major fundraisers every year, this is one of them. Usually we raise anywhere between $7,000-10,000," said Rotary Club of Nederland president Debbie Spittler.

They're not only from Nederland, either. Money spent on food goes to groups that provide generous services to folks all over Southeast Texas.

"We donate to Jefferson County child welfare, we buy hearing aids for a lot of people, we fund scholarships," said Alton Borel with the Port Arthur Sertoma Club.

"A lot of people from the community we know come by every year, they've supported us... it helps us fund activities for the youth groups," said Clark Spencer with St. John Lutheran Church in Beaumont.

"It's a way to give back to the community and help people so it makes you feel good about what you do," said Spittler.

"It's a proud moment for myself, it's a proud moment for my volunteers who dedicate their time, to know that we have this kind of support," said Hollier.

Based on a study conducted 10 years ago, the Nederland Heritage Festival has a $6.5 million economic impact on Nederland and surrounding communities.


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