EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

January 16, 2014

Letter: Sad Cafe's mission remains unchanged

To the editor:

I am writing in response to your recent article regarding the funding of The Sad Café in Plaistow. This article presents a concern that The Sad Café is an entity that is not holding true to its original mission. This is not true. Our mission is and always has been to promote a safe, family-friendly environment for our younger musicians to perform.

For many bands this is their first opportunity to perform and there have been hundreds of bands from all over the country that have been on stage. There were approximately 5,000 people that paid admission to The Sad Café this past year. The current financial issues are the result of budget cuts that caused a primary grant to be discontinued in 2013. This had nothing to do with the mission of The Sad Café.

Ticket sales, concessions and the sale of CDs contribute approximately 50 percent of the costs of operating the venue. Grants and donations are needed to make up the difference.

It is true that there have been changes on the board of directors. I am one of a few new board members who recently started working with longstanding members to streamline and improve the operation of the venue. We are also actively looking for new grants to supplement existing revenues. We are not looking at changing our position on providing a safe, substance-free environment for our musicians.

I would hope that the residents of our Southern New Hampshire and Merrimack Valley communities will support The Sad Café as we continue to improve the facility and serve our young musicians!

Dan Robertson

Haverhill

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