How do you hold a virtual fundraiser during a pandemic? With a lot of help from staff, volunteers, and friends throughout the county! The Take Stock in Children –Nassau CountyHome Grown Virtual Gala on Saturday, March 13, was a tremendous success thanks to sponsors, in-kind auction donors, volunteers, students, local talent, and an estimated 200 viewers! The virtual gala idea began as a way to replace the annual in-person “Light Up a Life Gala” but evolved into a platform to recognize our local community from talent to commerce.
Guests of the virtual gala began their evening with a take-out dinnerfrom Lagniappe. TSIC students volunteered to distribute the food to guests in a well-organized carpick up line. Guests were complimentary of the delicious meal provided by Chef Brian Grimley.
At 7 p.m., guests tuned into the live-stream link. They were greeted by Board Chair Regina Lee, Executive Director Robin Lentz and the charismatic Nassau County Tax Collector, John Drew as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening.
There were videos of Take Stock students, coaches and mentors describing the life-changing impact of the TSIC program. The videos were sprinkled between entertainment by students singing, playing instruments and dancing. Local artists, Honey Deacon and David Parks sang heartfelt songs too. The entertainment was produced by a group of volunteers, led by videographer/photographer, Bob Eberle. Bob graciously volunteered hours and hours of time with support from Amelia Community Theatre staff and volunteers to pull off this show.
During the event, guests also participated in an online auction. Many local businesses and artists donated art, gifts, and experiences to support Take Stock. The auction yielded nearly $11,000in funds. Guests gave positive feedback about attending a gala from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
“We are so grateful for the amazing support we received from our local community. We hope the event helped raise the awareness of our very worthwhile work on behalf of our deserving students” commented Regina Lee Board Chair.
Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, donors, and guests, the event exceeded the fundraising goal of $35,000 to earn $40,000. The money raised from this year’s events kicks off funds for next fiscal year to cover scholarships and operations costs.
Donations can still be made on our website, www.takestocknassau.org where a link to the Home Grown Virtual Gala performances is available.