The NATO Host Committee announced Thursday that it has raised $36.5 million in private donations for the May 20-21 diplomatic summit in Chicago.
According to Lori Healey, Executive Director of the Host Committee, the private dollars along with $19.1 million in federal grants will support security related expenses and ensure that taxpayers of the City will not bear the financial burden of hosting the NATO Summit.
"The Host Committee is thrilled by the support we have received from the business community," said Healey.
The Host Committee also premiered its official website -- www.chicagonato.org -- to keep residents, visitors, and participants informed about events concerning the NATO Summit.
The website provides information ranging from a synopsis on NATO and the 2012 Summit to a list of the best restaurants, shopping destinations, and tourist attractions that the city has to offer.
"We hope the site will also serve as an educational resource for individuals interested in learning more about NATO," said Healey.
Events during the Summit, traffic links, and Frequently Asked Questions will be updated regularly to keep the public informed at all times.
A blog by White House Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes will also be featured on the site to offer an insider’s look at the summits.
Information on various programs being offered with the Summit will also be available on the website including: global-themed sports programs for teenagers; a video contest for Chicago Public School students; summit-related offers at restaurants and theaters and policy programs open to the public.