Far more than any other city where I've lived, Nashville breathes fundraisers. They are everywhere, from neighborhood events for a family (or someone's sick dog) to big, national events. Heck, I even had a backyard fundraiser for Katrina relief — gumbo & muffaletta combined with a carnival (complete with my friend Sue dressing up as a fortune teller; she was great!). It raised more than $300, which I think is pretty darn good.
One of the national fundraisers, L'Ete du Vin, is the highest ranking charity fundraiser for the American Cancer Society in the entire United States. Started in 1980, this charity wine auction event has raised more than 15 million dollars. It is so successful that L'Ete du Vin provides grants to other nonprofits.
I love the names of them, some of which are cute combinations of an acronym or a witty phrase. Some of the other fundraiser names in Nashville are/have been: The Mutt Strutt (dog walk to benefit Nashville Humane Association); Chukkers for Charity (polo benefit for a therapeutic riding facility); The REIN Event (Reaching Equines In Need); Book 'Em (book donations for libraries); Dickens of a Christmas (Victorian themed event to benefit the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County)–and literally hundreds more.
But it is The Eye Ball, hosted by renowned eye surgeon Dr. Ming Wang, that takes top honors for the best name. I laughed like a drunk monkey when I read the name for the first time (and I still chuckle about it). Combining his skills as an eye surgeon with a love of top-notch ballroom dancing, Dr. Wang has created a ballroom dance show event that raises money for his nonprofit association. That charity provides free-of-charge sight restoration surgery to patients from, so far, 40 states and 55 countries. They just had the sixth annual event this past weekend. And that is fantastic.
What about you, and your town? What is the name of your favorite event and who or what does it benefit? If you could create your own charity fundraiser, what would it be for?