Recently Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) held it’s 16th Annual Charity Classic which was hosted by Marsh & McLennan Agency Southeast. It was a great success but, it was not what it was supposed to be!
Way back at the beginning of 2020, this annual fundraising event was scheduled as a golf tournament but, as you know, this year has been everything but normal. Almost immediately the team at the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation made the decision to pivot and make their golf tournament a virtual event and everyone swung into action. All the players began to work on what would become a live broadcast cleverly designed to stay in touch with their friends and donors and to hopefully bring them a little closer. The Charity Classic Virtual Auction was an excuse for everyone to gather together and to tell their stories, look back on where we have been, our adventures, and remember that greatness and generosity still exist, especially when incredible people come together for a common good. That common good was and still is the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s Butterfly Fund that works to alleviate financial pressure on families so they can focus on the care of their child.
Over the next series of months all of the stars aligned and the team began working diligently; everyone joined in helping and the magic began to happen. The Marsh & McLennan Agency effort was spearheaded by Peter Krause, President and CEO of the company and co-host for the broadcast fundraising event. Peter Krause has been involved with the organization for years and is a huge hearted man whose ongoing commitment to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is beyond belief. Peter is truly a champion of this organization. Within the Marsh & McLennan Agency there were countless volunteers from all over their offices located around the Southeast United States. Everyone banded together to help with donations and sponsorships, all working towards the common goals of increasing awareness of the organization and of course, funding the Butterfly Fund for 2020!
There was an office blanket making social group from the Lexington, Kentucky and the teams of dedicated Marsh & McLennan Agency employees in Columbus, Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee did an amazing job creating local staycation packages for the auction. The virtual auction included both a silent and live element, both were super successful. The silent auction featured everything from a very coveted VIP private dinner donated by Chef Jamie Keating from Columbus, Georgia to an incredible weekend in downtown Chattanooga complete with hotel stay, dinner, and tickets to all of the city’s attractions. The live auction featured items such as a package from the Kimpton Seafire Resort in the Cayman Islands and a day at the races at Keenland, Kentucky. Gina Pickett, a Marsh & McLennan Agency employee, spirited the group as a part of her personal commitment to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Gina kept everyone on task in the entire group. She single-handedly managed the time line and curated a hugely successful auction with 100% percent of the proceeds of that auction going directly to the Butterfly Fund.
The team at Marsh & McLennan Agency also included Darenda Huguley and Debbie Neff. This dynamic duo was responsible for all public relations, marketing and graphic design. Each and every email, letter, and social media post was skillfully crafted to encourage as many employees to tune in and watch the broadcast. And tune in they did! The Marsh & McLennan Agency employees tuned in from across the country to learn more about the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, their work here in Atlanta and across the United States of America. They also had a chance to meet some of the incredible families that they have helped over the years through their kindness.
The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation refers to the children affected by brain tumors as STARS. Let’s just say that on the night of the broadcast, the STARS were everywhere. Two incredible and inspiring STARS shared their unique stories with everyone. Firstly, auction donor and STAR Courtney filmed her segment for the broadcast from her sewing room where she creates her own line of table cloths, pillows, table runners, and placemats that were also offered at the auction that evening. Up next was STAR Aden, an avid golfer who has participated in this event before, happy to also be sharing his stories with everyone. He and his father took the time to speak about how the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation has helped them over the years of Aden’s treatment. Both Courtney and Aden’s brought us into their own personal journey’s and allowed the viewers at home to clearly see why the work of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is so important to so many!
Rounding out the production team from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation was the other co-host for the broadcast, Tammy Bates, National Director of Development and Heather Held, National Family Support Programs Manager. Working tirelessly, Tammy and Heather were able to bring all of the pieces together. Scripts were written and rewritten, graphics were changed, green screen backdrops discussed, videos were edited, and the photo collages were set to animation. Everything worked seamlessly because of the common goal and the realization that from time to time in life, it really does take a village to build a broadcast fundraiser!
So, my friends, there you have it. A simple story of good people coming together, even in a time of such great uncertainty, to make a huge difference in the lives of others. Now that you have had a little bit of the background behind the first and hopefully only Charity Classic Virtual Auction Event to benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, you need to know what happened.
The broadcast was successfully aired as scheduled. It went a little longer than was anticipated but the team successfully raised well in excess of $250,000 for the Butterfly Fund, guaranteeing its existence for another year and allowing for the organization to continue its mission to help the families impacted by pediatric brain tumors.
For more information about the Butterfly Fund, The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation or how to become involved please go to curethekids.org