The Yilan County Government is calling for donations to allow children from economically disadvantaged families to attend this year’s Yilan International Folklore and Folkgame Festival (YIFFF). \n“The idea actually came from Internet users who like the festival and wanted to help more children — especially those who may not be able to afford admission to the event — to visit the festival,” Yilan County Department of Social Affairs Director Shao Chih-chi (邵治綺) said. \nThe county government decided to ask for donations instead of paying for the children because of financial shortfalls created after the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-dominated County Council cut NT$80 million (US$2 million) earmarked for the festival and the central government only gave NT$2 million of the NT$55 million budget that the county government originally requested. \n“Donations will be used to pay for tickets for children from economically disadvantaged families within the county, and we will look for sponsors to cover for their meals,” Shao said. \nAny Yilan County resident under the age of 18 entitled to low-income family certificates issued by the county government may enter the festival park before 10am on July 29 for free, she said. \n“We will take donations all the way up to July 23,” she said, adding that anyone who wishes to help should contact Mr Lai at the Social Affairs Department on (03) 932-8822 ext. 210. \nDozens of performing art troupes have participated in the annual event since its debut in 1996. \nHowever, former Yilan county commissioner Lu Kuo-hua (呂國華) cancelled the event in 2008 and last year, saying it was not financially viable.
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