Creative Fundraising Event Spotlight: Mercy Home Ringside Gala

The event planning world relies heavily on networking. Most weddings and events I become involved in are due to some sort of relationship or connection. And that is exactly how I became involved in Mercy Home's Ringside Event.

I have a dear friend, Erin, who works for Mercy Home. As with most I've met who work for the organization, she is full of passion about her work and about Mercy Home's mission, which is to give abused, neglected and abandoned children in Chicago a safe Home and a bright future. About three or four years ago, she invited me to volunteer at one of the Home's annual fundraising events. Since then, I've volunteered at several Mercy Home events each year, as the organization has now won me over too... what a great cause!

My favorite event by Mercy Home just happened last week, and I couldn't help but write about it. Every year, Ringside attracts over 1,000 guests to the Chicago Marriott Grand Ballroom. While it has the traditional elements of many galas (live and silent auctions, a raffle, dinner and drinks, live music and dancing to the City Lights Orchestra), the focal point of the ballroom is a large boxing ring, built to host white collar boxing bouts.  Throughout the evening, 18 amateur boxers take to the ring to compete, while also raising critical funds for the boys and girls of Mercy Home. What a creative way to raise money and keep supporters engaged. Each and every time I volunteer at this event, I am inspired by the work of the organization, and challenged to keep thinking of ways to make the events with which I am involved as creative as this one!