March was an incredibly busy month at LiveWorkPlay, with new staff members being hired, a series of new funding announcements, and the “regular” excitement of supporting members with homes, jobs, and life in the community. This reduced the capacity of the staff team with respect to the 17th annual Recipe for Success fundraising event, and so more than ever we thank the many businesses and individuals who contributed to raising $40,000! As always, family members of individuals supported by LiveWorkPlay did the bulk of the work, and even contributed home-made desserts which were served alongside a delicious range of appetizers on roving trays.
Over 200 supporters were in attendance at St. Anthony’s Banquet Hall, where co-auctioneers Derick Fage from Rogers TV and Sandy Sharkey from BOOM 99.7 were up against a critical Ottawa Senators game that started at about the exact moment they took to the stage. They spun the pressure to the advantage of LiveWorkPlay, working with the audience to move the bids up quickly, and completed the live auction in record time, and earned their bragging rights on Twitter.
The high bid of the night in the live auction was $2500 for a WestJet trip to Hawaii with 4 nights at the Kauai Banyan Inn. The silent auction of about 100 items also generated some stiff competition and the elbows were really flying for items like a VIA Rail trip to Quebec City or the autographed Canadian Junior Hockey Team jersey!
The live auction was opened by Cathy Velasquez from TD Canada, continuing a tradition of presenting sponsorship that dates back to the event’s origins. Ms. Velasquez noted that the LiveWorkPlay relationship with TD dates back to 1998 (at the time, with MBNA Canada, later acquired by TD) and goes far beyond sponsorship.
“This is a partnership that includes everything from the employment of people with intellectual disabilities to individual TD employees who volunteer as board members as well as out in the community,” said LiveWorkPlay Co-Leader and Director of Operations Julie Kingstone.
Once the anniversary excitement is over, work will be underway for plans to combine Recipe for Success and Engines of Success. “We think there are wonderful sponsorship opportunities associated with the award and recognition elements of Engines of Success, and we’ll be having those conversations with our existing sponsors,” says LiveWorkPlay Co-Leader and Director of Communications Keenan Wellar. “The audience for these two events share about 85% of the same people, so we also think having an auction component as part of Engines of Success can work well. It’s a lot of fun and Derick and Sandy managed it on Thursday in about 45 minutes, so that sets a useful precedent for what we can do with a future combined event!”