The National Park Service missed out on an estimated $450,000 per day in entrance and user-activity fees because of the government shutdown that forced the agency to stop most of its operations. But the impact of the closures reached beyond federal coffers.
JDRF, formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, canceled one of its most lucrative annual fundraising events, its Ride to Cure Diabetes tour at Death Valley National Park in California, because the area was closed.
Although the event was scheduled to take place on Saturday, two days after the shutdown ended, planners had to decide whether to cancel by the start of the week to avoid losing their deposit at the park and inconveniencing registrants who might travel to the site for nothing. They decided to nix the event instead of gambling that Congress and the White House would reach a deal.
Registrants nonetheless gathered about $1 million in donations, all of which will go toward the foundation and its mission of providing funding for research on Type 1 diabetes, foundation spokesman Peter Cleary said. Many of the more than 200 would-be participants are switching to a related ride that takes place in Tuscon from Nov. 20-23, he said.
“I think there was plenty of blame to go around for the shutdown, and we’re disappointed we weren’t able to hold the ride in this amazing setting,” Cleary said. “But we didn’t lose any money and we’’ll do the event again next year.”
Still, a few key riders won’t be in Tucson this year, namely Lars Sorensen, the president and chief executive of Novo Nordisk pharmaceuticals, and the 20 Danish employees who had planned to join him in Death Valley.
If the effects of the shutdown could be measured by inconveniences, the foundation and its ride registrants would rank high.
The Federal Eye would like to know about more out-of-the-ordinary impacts from the lapse. If you have a story, share it in the comments section for possible use on the blog or in the Post print edition.
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