BELLEVILLE — Lindenwood University-Belleville will donate $50,200 as the major sponsor of the city's 200th anniversary in 2014.
"A Lindenwood sponsorship for the city of Belleville's Bicentennial Celebration was simply the right thing to do," Jerry Bladdick, president of Lindenwood University-Belleville, said in a news release.
The university and Bicentennial Committee will sign a formal agreement on Tuesday.
"The Belleville community has been such a strong source of support for our campus during the past 10 years, and we have participated in partnerships with the city on numerous occasions," Bladdick said. "Lindenwood is honored to be the premiere sponsor for this year-long celebration of Belleville's 200 year history."
Bladdick said he hopes Lindenwood's generous gift will inspire other Belleville business leaders to contribute to the city's celebration.
Debbie Belleville, director of the city's Parks and Recreation Department, said the Bicentennial Committee's goal is to make the 200th anniversary events inclusive of everyone in the city.
In order to have the majority of events be free to the public, the committee will need to raise more than $300,000, Belleville said.
"For all the activities we want to do throughout the calendar year, (the Lindenwood sponsorship) is a great kickstart," Belleville said.
Volunteers will staff a Belleville 200th Memorabilia Store at 227 E. Main St. starting Oktoberfest weekend in September to Dec. 31, 2014.
The main celebration will take place Oktoberfest weekend, from Sept. 19-21, 2014.
There will also be a gala at Fischer's Restaurant on March 8, 2014, and a Bicentennial Parade and 5K Fun Run on April 25, 2014.
All donations are welcome. For more information on the various sponsorship tiers, call the committee's sponsorship co-chairs, Carol Bartle at 618-972-7777 or Scott Givens at 618-779-4237, or visit www.belleville200.com.
Anyone interested in volunteering can attend the next committee meeting at 6 p.m. July 16 in the atrium of the Parks and Recreation Department, 512 W. Main St.
Contact reporter Jacqueline Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2655. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/BNDBelleville.