Like all special events of this nature, the GRACE Gala is driven by a small cadre of very dedicated community-minded people. And, like nearly everything else, presently the COVID-19 pandemic is taking precedence over Gala activities.
It’s no secret though, the GRACE Gala is the single largest fundraising event conducted by and for GRACE. Coming in the first quarter of the GRACE fiscal year, revenues from the Gala are critical in funding services and programs for those who come to GRACE throughout the year.
Equally no secret, volunteers are the lifeblood of the Gala, just as volunteers perform critical tasks in every capacity at GRACE.
Last week you met Tina and Vic DeVincenzo, the co-chairs for the 2020 Gala. Their number one job: recruit volunteers to serve essential functions. Specifically, volunteers are needed for the two primary fundraising activities: sponsorships and auction.
The Sponsor Committee is responsible for garnering support from corporate sponsors at the Gala. All sponsorships provide ample marketing exposure and encourages patronage to businesses with a kindred desire to advance the GRACE mission for local families.
The pandemic, of course, has caused many local businesses to be closed for a time, and the economy is slowly phasing back. Many previous Gala sponsors have asked for some time to recover before they can commit for this year.
Volunteers with strong ties to the corporate community are needed to help monitor the economic revival, and identify other businesses—new sponsors to the Gala—who may not have felt the full impact of the coronavirus crisis, or who are recovering quicker than others.
The Auction Committee is a sizable team that acquires in-kind gifts, unique experiences, travel opportunities, and other donations from local, national, and international contacts. These gifts will be offered at the Gala in three sets: Silent Auction, Big Board, and Live Auction.
Several members of the Auction Committee from previous years are in place, but a strong leader is needed to guide the team and forge new relationships.
“The Auction Committee is already brainstorming and actively working together,” said Christina Cates, GRACE Special Events Manager. “A strong chairperson can help them raise significant funds for families who will turn to GRACE in the coming year.”
In all, the GRACE Gala this year is the most important one yet. Funds raised will provide relief to families struggling to get back on their feet from the furloughs, layoffs, health concerns, and economic collapse brought on by COVID-19.