A group raising money to promote Ridgefield \u2014 its arts, culture, restaurants, and businesses \u2014 with a goal of encouraging visitors to town, increasing tourism and trade, has town officials\u2019 support. But the selectmen aren\u2019t sure whether the Marketing Initiative Project, led by village retailer and landlord Wayne Addessi, qualifies as a tax-exempt charity that would fit under the umbrella of the \u201cFriends of Ridgefield\u201d organization. The Friends of Ridgefield has tax-exempt status, allowing people to donate to it and take tax deductions on their gifts. It has had about a dozen member organizations \u2014 such as CHIRP, which puts on concerts in the park, the Ridgefield Independent Film Festival, and the Ridgefield Holiday Trust Fund, which finances the Halloween Walk and Main Street\u2019s holiday lights. Membership allows them to accept tax-deductible contributions under the Friends of Ridgefield umbrella, and also gives them access to some town support in the from of bookkeeping by the town finance department. The group marketing Ridgefield appeared before the selectmen Wednesday, Jan. 31, with the idea of joining as a member tax-exempt group. Addessi said the group had initially thought it would raise $25,000 to market the town, then made the goal $50,000, and is pushing it even higher \u201cNow we realize, to do what we want to do, we need to get to $100,000,\u201d he said. Among its projects are building a tourism-oriented website, and producing videos about Ridgefield. \u201cI eat this, sleep this, drink it, and I\u2019m living it every day,\u201d Addessi told the selectmen. \u201cHow is this a non-profit?\u201d Selectwoman Barbara Manners asked. The problem was fitting the marketing Ridgefield initiative into the charitable, non-profit definition that would qualify it for membership. \u201cThere are very strict criteria, in terms of it being charitable,\u201d Manners said. \u201cDoes it have to be charitable, or just non-profit?\u201d Addessi asked. He also said the group didn\u2019t want to become an agency of the town. \u201cWe want to keep it outside of government, we want the freedom to be creative,\u201d Addessi said. Town Attorney David Grogins was consulted, and suggested the group meet with specialist tax law attorneys at his firm, Cohen and Wolf, to get a firm opinion on how to qualify for the Friends of Ridgefield\u2019s charitable umbrella, allowing tax-deductible donations. \u201cThis is definitely something we\u2019d like people to be able to donate to,\u201d said Manners.