CASA Virtual Gala
The infamous, award-winning CASA Gala was scheduled for May 1, 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the globe. While the event was forced to post-pone, organizers knew the demand for funds towards children’s mental health would not – likely only increase. The show had to go on!
However by May, most attendees of the internet were ‘Zoomed out’. To keep costs low, maximize fundraising potential while thanking annual supporters, CASA Virtual Gala needed to be be something much more than your typical Zoom Meeting or Webinar.
Bring the participants to the venue and strike emotion! “The Show” started in the foyer of CASA’s most well known buildings with a behind the scenes feel. The building, usually hustling and bustling, was now empty and still. A saxophonist played touching notes of harmony. One of the hosts entered and greeted him from 6 feet apart. After a brief hello and a squirt of hand sanitizer, the host made his way into one of the empty classrooms to prepare for his Zoom call with a couple of the CASA parents. Emotion struck as they reminisced about their very powerful and meaningful encounters with CASA and how much their programs have done for their families and others.
Remotely, another host entered the show from his home in British Columbia. Sending comic relief and musical entertainment to the attendees, the virtual experience became more personal, relevant to the times and again, struck emotion; looking back at previous years when the attendees were all together in one room supporting this cause.
Throwing it back to the remote CASA location, the Edmonton host walked the attendees through the empty, lonely building reminding everyone of how much these programs are needed, especially now through trying pandemic times. Leaving the attendees to wonder where the children are now, how they are coping and how their families are coping, donation lines opened. Sponsorship credits rolled while the saxophonist ended the show and a heartwarming amount of donations flowed in.