Have you seen that YouTube video of the little girl named Jessica? The girl of “I can do anything good, I like my cousins, I like my school” fame? After this weekend’s festivities in downtown Raleigh, I feel a little like jumping on my sink and telling myself how much I love my city, my job, my family and my friends.
My boss, the one and only Mr. G Patel, has challenged our company (Eschelon Hospitality) to raise $50,000 for Hope for Haiti Foundation in 2011. G actually traveled with me to Haiti in May of 2010, shortly after the earthquake, to help with various projects in Zorange. I seriously have the best boss ever! I mean, how many people can say that their employer not only cuts them paychecks but also supports the causes that you love like crazy?
This weekend was Eschelon’s first event in an effort to reach that big $50k goal. It was hosted at our brand new boutique & bar, Dapper Style House, on First Friday in downtown Raleigh. There is also this amazing local company, S2 Jeans, that creates designer denim that also benefits HFHF. One of the things I love about my job and this city is how things all start to come together – a denim company that loves HFHF, a clothing store that loves HFHF and a boss that wants to raise money for HFHF- it all adds up to a big WIN for Hope for Haiti Foundation!
On Friday night, S2 Jeans had a trunk show, where customers could try on and purchase their crazy-comfortable and durable women’s denim. First Friday is all about art in downtown Raleigh, and the ladies from S2 Jeans crafted some of the most gorgeous cupcakes for our guests. Dapper’s bar was open, there were yummy snacks from The Oxford, and the crowds started to pour in – my cousins, my brothers, HFHF’s founder, my uncles, my aunts, my friends, my Yelp friends, my co-workers… random new people off the street… it was great! (Note: this is the point in the evening where I probably started sounding like little Jessica. In effort to NOT scare off the crowd, I did not jump on the bar and start spouting my love for the party-goers).
Then the best part of the evening commenced: the improv art contest! I’ve never seen anything like this. There were four artists, four easels and tons of paint supplies (all courtesy of Jerry’s Artarama). Every ten minutes, the artists would switch easels. For inspiration, Dapper’s manager Betzi Hekman prompted the crowd to answer random questions. “What one word comes to mind when you think of Haiti?” … “Sweaty!” … “What celebrity would you want to be stranded on an island with?” … “Johnny Depp” and so on. Guests placed bids on the artwork during the process and then there was a live auction (hosted by yours truly) at the end of the contest.
The amazing improv artists’ work raised more than $575 for Hope for Haiti! We love fun, outside-the-box fundraising events like this one and I can’t wait to see what else we can come up with for the rest of 2011!
Hope you enjoy some of the photos from the event below – and hope to see you at our next event!
– Tara, HFHF marketing team