CEDAR RAPIDS — The owner of a Cedar Rapids antiques store is selling “literally thousands of cups” — unused and left over from the failed “newbo evolve” festival last summer in Cedar Rapids — to raise money for an addiction recovery program at his church.
Just when “newbo evolve” seemingly had faded from memory, some 20,000 cups branded with the “newbo evolve” logo have turned up at an antiques store called CRAP You May Need, 1701 C St. SW, in Czech Village. CRAP stands for Cedar Rapids Area Pickers.
“Nobody would tell us who donated the cups,” store owner Billy Runyan said on Wednesday. “They wanted to remain anonymous, but they told us they wanted to see if something good could come out of something so bad.
“By donating the money back to the recovery program at church, something good will come out of such a debacle.”
The cups were dropped off at Hillside Wesleyan Church, 2600 First Ave. NW, a couple of months ago, and the pastor wasn’t sure what to do with them, Runyan said, noting some had beer logos, which would be inappropriate for the church to use or sell.
The pastor asked Runyan if he could do something with them, he said.
“Newbo evolve” was a three-day festival featuring Maroon 5, Kelly Clarkson and celebrity speakers on Aug. 3-5, 2018, in downtown Cedar Rapids. Organizers were charging $400 for festival passes, and too few tickets were sold for the event to be successful.
“Newbo evolve” lost more than $2 million, leading to the firing of two executives of GO Cedar Rapids, the city’s then tourism bureau, which put on the event. GO Cedar Rapids folded in subsequent weeks due the losses. Vendors were owed some $800,000 and have never been paid.
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The city of Cedar Rapids, which funded the bureau but did not have direct oversight, has opened a new tourism office and redirected money there.
Some of the cups are hard-sided, reusable blue plastic cups with the “newbo evolve” logo. Others are disposable, clear plastic cups with “Miller Lite” on one side and “newbo evolve” on the other, he said.
Runyan is charging $4 for sleeves of 20 of the hard plastic cups and $2 for sleeves of 50 of the “Miller Lite” cups.
Runyan posted an advertisement for “literally thousands of cups” in Facebook Marketplace with a few pictures a few days ago, and as of Wednesday afternoon he’d sold $26 worth of cups.
“We decided what we would do is every penny from the cup will go to the recovery program at church,” Runyan said. “It is nice to be the one that gets to do something good out of something that was such a bad experience for so many people.”
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