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Councilman Questions Why Charity Event Receives Ford Center 'Discount'

Charging a charity more? In an email, an Evansville City Councilman says a popular Tri-State non-profit should pay the same as everyone else to rent out the Ford Center.

Charging a charity more? In an email, an Evansville City Councilman says a popular Tri-State non-profit should pay the same as everyone else to rent out the Ford Center.

In an email obtained by Eyewitness News, City Councilman John Friend told other members of the council that the Guns and Hoses event, put on by 911 Gives Hope, needs to be charged the same rate as any other event.

Friend stated that's regardless of whether it's a non-profit or a for-profit organization.

Councilman Friend did preface the statement by saying, in his words, the organization and Guns & Hoses is a most worthy endeavor. However, he says he's just posing the question in an effort of reducing the deficit the Ford Center is encountering.

Councilman Jonathan Weaver would rather the council stick to the bigger issues like the hotel and sewer project.

"Look at Guns and Hoses and the crowds that come and the money it brings," Weaver said. "Why do we nitpick?"

Councilman friend could not be reached for comment.

Pat Phernetton, president of 911 Gives Hope, says the organization rents out the Ford Center for $16,000 an event. That sum of money is $2,000 more than what the organization was charged when the event was held at Roberts Stadium.

Phernetton says he plans on drumming up support from the other charities that 911 Gives Hope doles out money to and hopes to have a presence at the next City Council meeting.


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