In the Spirit of Thanksgiving

What do you care about sketchIt started with a cocktail napkin; the proverbial locale for the million dollar idea.

As the Southwest Florida Community Foundation prepared for its “Evening of Gratitude” and annual appeal, staff and board members strategized on how best to communicate the impact contributors have on the SWF community. According to Development Director Carolyn Rogers, one board member boiled it down perfectly suggesting that whatever the message was, it should be able to fit on a cocktail napkin.

With that concept, the talented team designed the event logo (shown left) to look like a hand-written diagram on a cocktail napkin, highlighting five causes: Arts, Animals, Education, People/Social, and the Environment with the web site for the annual report. Not only was this the theme, but cocktail napkins were available and attendees were asked to take one and view the Foundation’s annual report on line at their leisure.

This Trifecta of evenings provided donors with a new approach to an annual event that was inviting, personal, and truly inspirational. With live performances at cultural venues by local singing sensation Zak Dobbins and pianist Yasuhiko “Yaz” Fukuoka, Gratitude Nuit  delivered on all levels.

Throughout the evening, attendees were given a voice for the causes that matter most to them, as CEO Sarah Owen shared inspirational stories accompanied by the music of Zak and Yaz, while gently conveying the results of the Foundation’s community outreach. It was truly inspiring.

As a frequent attendee of fundraisers, I found this approach refreshing and appealing.  The SWF Community Foundation is creating opportunities for donors to leave a legacy and have impact. Check out the amazing website. It’s colorful, informative, and uplifting, and will leave you feeling positive about the good being done in our community.

Promotional Incentives at Southwest Florida Community Foundation

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Dreams Do Come True at the 2013 Boston Red Sox Children’s Hospital Celebrity Classic

Dreams do come true, as I recently experienced the ultimate combination of business and pleasure when our company sponsored the 2013 Boston Red Sox Children’s Celebrity Classic, a signature event that has raised millions for The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Upping the ante for the 20th anniversary event: a jaw-dropping matching contributions by two generous donors, Tom Golisano (for whom the Children’s Hospital is now named) and a pair of anonymous donors. Though still being tabulated, the two-day event raised $685,000!

To commemorate this special occasion, Lee Memorial Health System Foundation asked Promotional Incentives to provide the coveted ‘swag’ bags. A stylish durable duffle bag was selected as the commemorative for this landmark tournament.

The two-tone bag was imprinted with three logos: Red Sox 20th Anniversary Celebrity Classic, the new Golisano Children’s Hospital, and the image of Promotional Incentives Gumby with the phrase, “P.I. Gumby loves children and the Green Monster!”

Included in the bag full of giveaways and coupons, was a green Sharpie® imprinted with the “Going Green with Promotional Incentives” logo. The permanent marker was an ideal giveaway for celebrity autographs and identifying golf balls. Promotional Incentives Promotional Bag for Red Sox Classic

Several of the LMHS Foundation staff commenting on the high quality of the duffle bag. “It’s definitely the best bag we’ve ever had,” said Katy Martinez, special events coordinator for the Foundation.

Thursday night’s Tee Party was filled with sports celebrities and incredible opportunities for special events and memorabilia. Baseball greats Mike Greenwell, Luis Tiant and Jim Rice along with special guest University of South Carolina football head coach Steve Spurrier signed autographs and shared stories with the attendees. Part of the dream come true was my brother, a lifelong Red Sox fan, had the unique opportunity to share one of his personal memories with Mike Greenwell.

Also present were local celebrities such as Kelly Burns, always generously gives time and enthusiastic flair to facilitate bidding, LMHS leaders Jim Nathan and Sharon McDonald, were on hand to meet and greet. Dustin and Stefanie Ink-Edwards, who inaugurated a Mud Run that raised $100,000 for The Children’s Hospital, gave personal testimony to the hospital that saved their children’s lives.

The staff of The Forest Country Club were outstanding – from bartenders, wait and bus staff, to managers and directors, all helped insure a successful event. It’s no wonder they are the host every year.  During the tournament, duffers were greeted warmly by residents eager to share helpful hints and encouragement. Sponsoring this amazing event was a fitting celebration of our 22nd anniversary.Promotional Incentives at Red Sox Celebrity Classic

LucyStephanie Ink-Edwards’ daughter plays with P.I. Gumby.   The Promotional Incentives foursome – the only one in the field with matching team shirts!  PromoLucy celebrates with event coorRSCC_2013 031dinator Katy Martinez at the Tee Party.