41.2 million Americans are food-insecure. That’s a staggering number of adults and children in this country who are forced to skip meals, eat less, buy non-nutritious foods, or, in the case of adults, feed their kids but not themselves. The number of people going hungry in the U.S. is even more mind-blowing when you consider the abundance available to us.
Food banks are crucial to making sure everyone that needs food is able to get it, free of charge. These charitable, nonprofit organizations do exactly what their name implies—they stock food and distribute it to those that need it most. All of the food is donated, and much of the work at a food bank is done by volunteers.
Located on Point Brown Peninsula in the state of Washington, Ocean Shores has long been a summer beach destination (part of the state highway is on the actual beach!). It’s also home to the Ocean Shores Food Bank (OSFB), whose efforts take a bite out of local hunger. It defines its mission as “to help ensure that no one in our community goes hungry…Working in cooperation with local churches, service organizations, merchants and individuals in the community, we collect and distribute donated and purchased food to anyone in need.” Thanks to its hard-working volunteers and donations from families and businesses in the community, OSFB does exactly that. The all-volunteer staff of the OSFB served 4,553 households and 13,366 individuals in 2016.
In order to do all that great work, and in addition to donations of food and money, OSFB relies on the funds earned from their annual fundraiser. Held at the Ocean Shores Convention Center, it’s a fun night with a big crowd, and all the net proceeds from ticket sales and the auction benefit OSFB. At this year’s event on April 7, OSFB rocked their theme! Entitled Rockin’ the Shores, the bash featured performances by acclaimed Seattle-based group RAUCOUS and tribute performer Danny Vernon, both a silent and live auction, and a dinner catered by executive chef George Lee.
Eventgroove customer, member of OSFB’s board of directors, and volunteer Kathy Harris told us before this year’s event how the fundraiser is a big hit in Ocean Shores. Said Kathy, “We have a maximum capacity of 400 and sold out two weeks before the event in 2017. Tickets cost $30 and include dinner, a no-host bar, silent auction, entertainment and a live auction of about 7 items. We live in a retirement beach community with mixed income brackets, and last year we cleared almost $14,000 in profit. Hoping for the same this year!”
Pre-selling tickets is essential to this fundraiser, and just like their event, Kathy and the team at OSFB get creative! Instead of ordering event tickets and raffle tickets, they order raffle tickets that double as both. Kathy told us, “We found last year it was easier to sell a book of 8 tickets reserving a table and recording in advance of the event, name, phone number of attendees. Their ticket number was also their bidding number. Guests were checked in at the door, but we didn’t collect their ticket, since everyone was already entered on the computer with their ticket/bidding number. This made check-in so much easier—people didn’t have to wait and stand to get a bidding number. (We) used raffle tickets stapled in books of 8 as admission tickets. A book of 8 sells for $250 and guaranteed a reserved table.”
Such a clever idea to use raffle tickets for both admission and auctions—plus, doing so saves a little in overhead, too! Which is, of course, the whole point—to raise funds so that the Ocean Shores Food Bank can keep helping those who need a helping hand.
A huge thank you to Kathy and OSFB for choosing Eventgroove, and for making such an impact on your community! We hope this year’s fundraiser was even more successful than last.