This year's Yankee Doodle Pops, which was held on Thursday, July 3, 2008, took a new turn, working with Simon Estes, Governor and First Lady Culver and local businesses to raise money for the Embrace Iowa: 2008 Iowa Disaster Fund. Volunteers from ING, the State of Iowa, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Meredith and Principal carried kettles provided by the Salvation Army through the crowd during Simon Estes' heartfelt performance of Old Man River, You'll Never Walk Alone and God Bless America. Bank of the West supervised the collection of money, contracting with Loomis Security for armored trucks and the counting of funds.
With the generosity of those in attendance (This year's crowd was estimated by Capitol staff at 115,000 to 125,000.)
Yankee Doodle Pops was able to collect $37,761.81 to be donated to the Embrace Iowa: 2008 Iowa Disaster Fund, established through the leadership of Governor Chet and First Lady Mari Culver. This fund will go directly back to the communities through the Red Cross, United Way and community foundations. Many of the kettles were full and it just was not possible to get to everyone in the crowd. Those who did not have the opportunity to give during the concert-including the many thousands listening to the live broadcast on Iowa Public Radio or watching the statewide Mediacom rebroadcasts-can still help by sending a gift to: Embrace Iowa: 2008 Iowa Disaster Fund, c/o Greater Des Moines Community Foundation, 1915 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312.
For more information on this and other Des Moines Symphony events call 515-280-4000 or visit dmsymphony.org.