Lorraine’s Lowdown: Virtual fundraising has arrived | TheUnion.com

Lorraine’s Lowdown: Virtual fundraising has arrived

Renovations at the Holbrooke Hotel are wrapping up, and a Big Reveal is planned in mid-October (http://www.Holbrooke.com). There will be invitation-only events as well as public tours. Hotel Sales and Event Manager Erin Lewis, one of the team members eager to reopen the Holbrooke after more than a year of renovation, says, “Head on over to our new website to make a reservation and sign up for the mailing list to be in the know about our grand re-opening open house events…” 

In Less than Two Weeks, work begins on another downtown GeeVee mural. Lola Montez will soon grace the back wall of Sourdough & Co., facing Elizabeth Daniels Park. Internationally known muralist and local resident of 14 years, Ursula X. Young says she’s looking forward to creating a “fun, luscious, and vibrant Lola. I paint a lot of women, and I believe I can tell Lola’s story.” (http://www.UrsulaYoung.com) Ursula encourages people to drop by and say hello. “It will take about a week, and I’d like people to get engaged and watch the process,” says Ursula, who looks forward to making new friends. “I’ll be up a ladder, so I’ll be at least six feet away…”

The Mural Is a Community Project. “Hills Flat Lumber is sponsoring the paint and materials, and MEC Builds is sponsoring the mural by paying the artist,” says Haven Caravelli. “The downtown association will buy collections of flowers to be designed and planted by Living Outdoors Landscape after the project is done.” Haven is co-owner of MEC Builds. She’s also an art promoter who believes in its healing powers. “Art creates conversations and pulls a community together. This is an important time for our community to come together around something positive…”

Kentucky Derby Connection. Honor A.P. finished fourth on Sept. 5, a bit of a disappointment to trainer John Shirreffs. John got his start riding colts under the tutelage of Henry Freitas back in the 1970s, when Henry managed Loma Rica Ranch. It was a thriving thoroughbred race horse ranch in those days. Henry’s daughter Roxann remembers family dinners and holidays with John at the table. “He was a sweet man,” recalls Roxann…

Good Communication, Good Government. There were more questions than answers when the coronavirus pandemic began in March. That’s why NevCo Board of Supervisors Chair Heidi Hall and GeeVee Mayor Lisa Swarthout asked NevCo CEO Alison Lehman to coordinate a virtual meeting between county health officials and elected leaders. After just one teleconference, all agreed a weekly Friday debriefing was warranted. The meetings, now held via Zoom, have expanded to include representatives of the hospital, courts, education, public facilities such as the fairgrounds, and volunteer hubs. Because those lines of communication are established, the working group is poised to address more than COVID case numbers and PPE. “Having the established group, we were ready to talk about other issues impacting our community, such as when the Jones Fire broke out,” says CEO Alison… 

Weekly Meetings Gave Way to bi-monthly calls this month, with up to 30 participants on the line. “I applaud the elected officials for their proactive leadership,” Alison adds. “The alignment and coordination of the jurisdictions has really separated us from other counties. This isn’t about politics. It’s about keeping our community safe and our small businesses open, while preventing the spread of COVID-19…”

It Is So Impressive the way in which our nonprofits confront and overcome obstacles time and again. We all miss dining and dancing together at our favorite events, yet there are several virtual fundraisers just a click away. Here are five, with insights from organizers presenting their first major virtual events…

Music in the Mountains puts the fun in fundraising with its Fall Fundraiser Sept. 16, including a virtual auction (http://www.MusicInTheMountains.org). The highlight is an online performance by Ben Crawford, who appears in the current Broadway production of Phantom of the Opera. Executive Director Jenny Darlington-Person says one challenge of staging an entertaining virtual event is including the social aspect. “We have a VIP dinner and an entertainment ticket, plus a free event for everyone who wants to register that includes heartwarming stories, a performance by the current Broadway Phantom, and exciting prizes…”

The Center for the Arts presents its Gin & Jazz virtual gala Sept. 18 for its 20th anniversary with fine dining, a live auction, and after-party featuring the popular Pop ROCKS band (http://www.TheCenterForTheArts.org). “We are putting together artists, cameras on artists in multiple locations, and most importantly, making sure our guests have the best time ever with food, music and the works!” says Executive Director Amber Jo Manuel. “We have even created a virtual red carpet so everyone can show off their outfits…”

Habitat for Humanity celebrates its 25th anniversary Sept. 18 with a new twist on its annual Street of Dreams fundraiser: an online gala and an online auction. Register for a free ticket at http://www.NCHabitat.org and you’re automatically entered in the big raffle. H4H Development Director Jim Phelps says, “I think the tricky thing is that people have been Zooming for six months now. Will they be Zoomed-out? Our challenge is to put together an event that doesn’t feel like a Zoom meeting. So, we took it as a creative challenge — doing something new, telling stories in a bold new way, presenting Habitat in a compelling way people haven’t seen before…”

The Rüdiger Foundation is staging a drive-through Sept. 25 at the Miners Foundry in which guests pick up their dinners, sWAG bags, a program highlighting past auction donors, a link to the video program, and a few fun gifts (http://www.RufK9.org). “It quickly became clear we were not going to be able to host the usual Paw and Order Dinner and Auction, so we came up with the perfect pivot,” Rüdiger Founder Joey Jordan says. “We get the opportunity to meaningfully support past auction donors, guests will be able to see the dogs, and everyone gets to enjoy a delicious dinner and the program from the comfort of their own homes…”

Hospice of the Foothills has moved its major fundraiser, Moonlight Magic, online Oct. 2 (http://www.HospiceOfTheFoothills.org). Registration is free, and all guests will be entered in a prize give-away. Local legend Tom Fitzsimmons will emcee the event. ”The challenge is having a virtual event that is interesting enough to have people tune in,” says Marketing/Events Manager Mary Anne Davis. “Our Moonlight Magic Virtual Gala will be entertaining, compelling, and the next best thing to being there in person…”

From Zig Ziglar (1926-2012), American author, salesman, and motivational speaker: “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals…”

Please help this silly newspaper column achieve its goals by sending your happy news to LorraineJewettWrites@gmail.com.

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