I’m so, so exhausted that I don’t think I can do much more than tell you that the fundraiser was a smashing success. It blew all previous fundraising goals out of the water and broke the million dollar mark. As in two commas needed! I really didn’t think we’d hit that this year though for the last 3 years I’ve been told we should strive for it. Here’s some perspective: I started managing this event five years ago and our goal was to get 800 people in the room and break $500,000. Wednesday we had over 1,100 people in the room and raised $1,073,129.
(I’m still having trouble saying the number out loud. WOW!)
Was it really only a week ago that I was having a complete and utter meltdown in my cubicle, thoroughly convinced that the program was not going to come together and be compelling to guests? I pride myself on a tightly executed (everyone in and out in an hour) program that packs a big punch with our message mainly through youth speakers who have used our services. I went out on a limb this year and had a singer/guitarist, a spoken word poet, and a rapper (all our youth) perform. I wondered if the audience would be able to relate or feel moved because art is subjective. They got standing ovations and guests sought them after the program to congratulate them. That’s my favorite part of the entire event, really- seeing the youth I’ve worked with take the stage and shine. To hear the praise and watch them bask in it. They deserve that recognition and so much more.
Of course, there were some major hiccups but none of them were on our part and luckily most guests had no idea they were even happening. We premiered our new logo and a brand new one minute commercial about our organization that I’m super proud of. I don’t normally attach my place of work with my on line presence but I’m making an exception this time because I really hope you’ll watch it and see who I work for and why. (Watch for a boy standing at an opening door holding a suitcase. That’s my nephew! And me opening the door but you can only see my hand.)
I’m incredibly lucky to work for an organization where I get to do what I love (event planning) and support changing the trajectory of the lives of foster youth alongside fantastic co-workers. I’m so grateful my life led me here.