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The Signs of the Times, vol. 13

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    “The Financial Results of that Paper Carnival” The Signs of the Times 13, 1, pp. 7, 8.

    THAT “Paper Carnival” venture of the Church of the Advent, San Francisco, which we mentioned in the SIGNS of November 18, and upon which we made some estimates, did not pan out as well in money as was expected. There were several items of expenses that were not in our count, because then the carnival was in its full tide of revelry, and the official statement of its receipts and expenditures had not been made, and of course could not be till the carnival was over. So far as was then known, the estimates were that more than 800 persons had spent three months in preparation, and $10,000 had been paid for “dresses, costumes, etc.” For the 800 persons we allowed 25 cents a day for 75 working days, which amounts to $15,000, which, with the $10,000 for costumes, dresses, costumes, etc. make $25,000. Now the official financial statement has been published, and to this $25,000 we find there must be added a “dancing master’s salary, $152.75;” stage manager’s salary, $120; rent of pavilion, gas, music, calcium lights, erecting and papering booths, fitting up stage, and payment of stage hands—in all amounting to $3,806.50. Thus the expense, “at a low estimate,” was $28,806.50.SITI January 6, 1887, page 7.1

    The expectation was to raise $15,000 by the carnival, but the gross receipts were only $10,202.48. So there was $28,806.50 spent to get a return of $10,202.48. But as the $3,806.50 had to come out of the $10,202.48, there was left a net income of only $6,305.98, while “it is thought that enough more will come from ladies who sold small quantities of tickets, to raise the sum to $6,500.” Allowing this full amount of $6,500, it then appears that there was an investment of $25,000 to get a return of $6,500. In other words, $18,500 was paid for sheer revelry to help the Church of the Advent. But the “good work” did not stop at that. The official report is that “several wealthy parishioners are so well pleased at the result of the carnival that they have promised contributions, which, added to the carnival proceeds, will reduce the debt to about $5,000.” We should think they ought to be “pleased” with a piece of fun that cost $18,500. But we are at a loss to know how the Church of the Advent is ever going to pay the remaining $5,000 of its debt. For now a carnival would be no novelty, and therefore another carnival would hardly prove such a grand success as this one proved. It is highly probable, however, that the inventive genius of the “Rev. John Gray of the Church of the Advent” is not yet exhausted, and that in the payment of this remaining $5,000 we may look for him to make the greatest effort of his life. By getting up something in which the fun alone would cost about $50,000, it is perhaps possible that he might get the desired $5,000; if not from the enterprise direct, he might by this means succeed in so pleasing his wealthy parishioners that they would promise contributions enough to pay it, especially if he could make sure of them while the revelry is at its height.SITI January 6, 1887, page 7.2