Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is one of the city’s most beloved charities with several, well- known annual fund-raisers. This year, based on research, we designed a new, experiential fundraiser “Rolling for a Reason” to reach an un-tapped demographic and creatively raise even more money (via multiple experiential event channels) for the fight against children’s cancer. “Rolling for a Reason” was an opulent, Porsche-driving, show-stopping, casino night filled with music, a silent auction and heart. It was hosted at the dramatic Porsche Experience Center and featured experiences to entertain, delight and assure that CHOA’s message resonated with attendees. As a new, active and unique evening, it was successful in garnering a younger demographic and inspired everyone to invite their friends for a fun, interactive night-out to benefit an excellent cause. Guests entered Porsche’s North American headquarters and walked the red carpet which was flanked by two branded LED columns.
They immediately saw our beautiful, regal violinist playing live music from atop a 10-foot-high stand (her elegant red dress came all the way down and contributed to the red carpet effect). The Porsche Center's expansive bank of glass windows showcased beautiful blue skies, the terrace cocktail hour and the Porsche test drive track. Guests were greeted with a signature, red “High Roller” cocktail compliments of a Georgia vodka supplier. They were then escorted to the terrace for cocktail hour by our red-sequined, show-man and dazzling, feathered show-girl. Guests were visuall directed to and from the terrace doors via a path (and reminded of the evening’s purpose) of specialty, red carpet circles emblazoned with “Because every child deserves a lifetime.” Throughout the entire space, both on the terrace, and INSIDE the building, hand-selected Porsches were a delightful attraction and outstanding background for photo opportunities.
Cocktail hour was held on the terrace overlooking the test track. Music set the mood and, at times, jets from the nearby airport coasted above the track providing a breathtaking scene. Those attendees who gave at the VIP level, were given a silver key and escorted down the steps to an exclusive, private, track-side cocktail party complete with florals and lounge furniture. The VIPs chatted and sipped cocktails while they awaited their turn to experience a drive around the test track with a professional Porsche race-car driver. Those who chose not to drive, enjoyed watching from above on the terrace or viewing the specialty CHOA Race Car that was on display in the outdoor, center courtyard. One of the sponsors, a race car driver, had his car branded for CHOA and gave sick children the opportunity to sign it, or do a bit of artwork on it. It was an impactful reminder of the purpose of the evening's fun. Dinner was served buffet-style in the Porsche Atrium accompanied by mood music and entertainment by our DJ Band Percussion artist. This on-trend style of music features a DJ who mixes his musical stylings with (in this case) a live saxophone, drummer and more. At one point, our lovely violinist took the floor and was featured in several of the musical selections. This energetic, interactive type of entertainment appeals to all demographics and was enjoyed by all. Inside the Experience Center, the VIPs had a private lounge area, branded, personal bar and private gaming tables.
Not surprisingly, the majority of the attendees were VIPS which translated to a larger one-time donation. The casino tables, and play money were branded and the black leather lounge furniture was accented with red, branded pillows and accessorized with branded coffee tables creating intimate spaces for those guests who preferred to sit and chat. Others gathered around the beautifully-clad highboys accentuated with white orchids and red roses. The energy was palpable throughout the entire evening as a CHOA family spoke to the group and shared their personal story, and a celebrity guest from Nashville played a specialty set acoustically for the guests. Mirrored, "Reflecting on Your Giving" people with LED-lit trays, mingled and wowed the crowd selling 52 cards for $50 each. At the end of the evening, the Silent Auction winners were announced (trips, hotel stays and more) and a card was drawn to see who won the 52 card contest. "Reflecting on Your Giving" was a unique twist, and a fun way to raise additional monies. We were successful in raising a lot of money with the casino concept, and we were thrilled that almost all of the guests stayed engaged at the casino tables, chatting, or dancing throughout the entire event. We also negotiated a special room rate with the Solis Hotel which is located across the street from the Porsche experience, enabling people to stay the night or invite out-of-town guests to the event. We solicited several sponsors for the evening and were able to get the media and liquor sponsor to provide service/goods as a donation. Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Rolling for a Reason was an unparalleled success and an exciting addition to the most prestigious of Atlanta's Charity Fund-raisers.