Written by Jordi
This past April, Paraquad, a nonprofit organization in St. Louis hosted its 19th annual gala. Paraquad has been around since 1970 and is one of the oldest Centers for Indepent Living in the United States. Their mission is to empower people with disabilities to increase their independence through choice and opportunity. This year we worked with Paraquad to create a completely new enviornment for its gala. Our team loves the challenge of coming up with something new and different and Paraquad asked us to help them make this gala different from its galas in the past. We implemented three main changes that helped to make this year’s gala the most successful.
Our first task was to implement a dance party post-event that kept people around and engaged. That was easy. Entertainment is our calling card and our emcees, DJ’s and dancers are out every weekend at parties doing exactly that. The challenge was finding a way to get people out of their seats and onto the dance floor. We decided to enlist the help of our talent in the form of a flash mob. We choreographed a five minute dance to hip hop songs through the ages. Before guests could get our of their chairs our dancers ran up to the stage, performed and then danced with different guests out the door and onto the dance floor. It was a hit and the dance floor was packed!
Our after party was successful because DJ Roe along with our emcee and dancers kept everyone engaged and dancing long after midnight. We also brought our photo booth which had a line all night long.
Paraquad’s gala was a special night for us in more ways than one, but the most defining moment of the night was how much we were able to help Paraquad with fundraising. The goal of every nonprofit event is to raise money for their organization and this event was no different. In order to help them increase their fundraising we partnered with one of the best fundraising auctioneers in St. Louis. Together we did our research. We found out everything we could about Paraquad, their services and the people they help. We found out who would be in the rom and who the biggest donors that night would be. We also found ways to make sure that everyone felt like their donation could make a difference, even if it was only $20. Our hard work paid off and Paraquad’s fundraising increased by 105%.
We say this after almost every event, but we feel so lucky that this is what our team gets to do for a living. What we do is so much bigger than ourselves. We continuously strive to make our community a better place and we are so grateful that Paraquad gave us the opportunity to take their gala to the next step this year.