Pencils of Promise Nonprofit Raises Over $2 Million at Cipriani Wall Street at Annual Gala
October 31, 2014
750 people, 3 continents, 2 million dollars, and one amazing cause.
With the help of Save the Date®, world-changing nonprofit Pencils of Promise made history in downtown Manhattan on Wednesday, October 22nd 2014. The foundation’s annual gala was held at Cipriani’s Wall Street, where hundreds assembled to celebrate the company’s success. Operating education programs across three continents, Pencils of Promise has grown drastically over the years, expanding their reach in America and abroad. Thus it was only fitting that the gala would be hosted at Ciprianis, the same location where one of their first ever events was held (and drew a much smaller crowd in the company’s early days). And so Save The Date® set out to put together event that would honor the organization and its supporters in the best of ways.
A true testament to Pencils of Promise’s growth, Cipriani’s archway-lined ballroom saw guests fill the room to capacity in black tie attire. In its first hour, a cocktail reception was held on the upper level, with passed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails warming up the crowd on a chilly New York evening. Down below, elegant centerpieces lined each table. Perfectly crafted with their own flower arrangements, bottle of wine, and branded pencil, the tables were arranged in a strikingly beautiful manner. A theme, a purpose, and an evening to remember awaited each guest as they descended the staircase.
Once the dinner hour began, the spirit of the evening set off in full swing. The gala’s honorees, Brad Haugen (PoP’s chairman), Gary Vaynerchuk (CEO of VaynerMedia), and Sophia Bush (actress and activist) shared heartfelt speeches with the crowd. They spoke of the impact that Pencils of Promise has had, both on them personally and on the lives of the students that they’ve built schools around the world for. Dubbing themselves a for-purpose organization, PoP builds schools, trains teachers, and funds scholarships – a concept that draws support even just on paper. But on this evening, the words of each speaker touched those in attendance, making their purpose real and tangible. From sharing stories of building schools in Laos to keeping close ties with children in the Ghana, the PoP activists expressed the spirit of the organization. Founder Adam Braun shared his fondest sincerity for the support from the PoP community, and told the inspiring tale of the organization’s growth over the past six years.
A seated dinner, live auction, and keynote speeches delighted guests as they enjoyed the food, drink, and conversation with those around them. In a stunning display of fundraising mayhem, a live auction was hosted by CK Swett. Doling out VIP concert tickets, wine tasting opportunities, and private DJ lessons from one of the world’s top DJs, Swett kept the energy in the room at an insurmountable height. With single items auctioning for over $20k, guests had the opportunity to partake by raising their giant pencil and donating to a good cause. A silent auction was also held, from which all profits went to directly to building education systems in Laos, Guatemala, and Ghana. The evening as a whole was a display in flawless event fundraising; it brought together support from all sides of the Pencils of Promise community, congregating at an interactive, educational, and heartwarming event. After the reception, an official after-party even awaited guests to keep the evening going. The turnout as a whole was tremendous, and truly a testament to Pencils of Promise’s success – as well as a nod to Save the Date®’s ability to execute an event of its kind. The final result? A whopping $2,001,215 raised to support education for all. In its fourth and largest annual gala, PoP lived up to their motto, showing that everyone has promise indeed.