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Back at it Again: Systems Unlimited Wine Gala and Silent Auction 2014

By: Casey Levigne

Inspire Public Relations’ Systems Unlimited account team helped plan and execute the non-profit’s Wine Gala and Silent
Auction for the second year on February 28, 2014.
This Mardi Gras-themed party had everyone up on their feet traveling between different wine, beer, and spirits booths in addition to dancing to the much-anticipated band, Dogs on Skis.

This year, our Inspire Public Relations team helped Cheli Morgan, the Systems Unlimited Community Relations/Events Specialist, with social media posts leading up to the event and also camp up with several ideas to make the Wine Gala and Silent Auction different from last year’s event.

One new addition this year was Yellow Umbrella. Yellow Umbrella combines the idea of a photobooth and karaoke. If you have ever used the website “Elf Yourself,” you should be somewhat familiar with this product. You and your friends sit in a photobooth wearing a green cloth, only exposing your head. You sing along to the song while your head is projected on a computer screen, on a dancing body. After you are finished, you get a DVD of the animation with you singing. This was an extremely popular attraction at the event.

The number of silent auction donations this year topped over 100 items! We had great items including: a handmade acoustic guitar, a signed Umphry’s McGee album, 2 Twins tickets in the 360 Legends Box, an autographed football by Tim Dwight, over 126 restaurant gift cards, and many, many more.

A common challenge that any organization faces in hosting an annual event is keeping the brand the same, but still being able to make it different from the previous year. A huge improvement this year was having the wine, beer, and spirit vendors circle the entire room, as opposed to being stuck in one corner. This created a better flow for traffic and allowed everyone to make their way around the room to Yellow Umbrella, the photobooth, chocolate fountain, and, most importantly, the silent auction table.

A special thanks to our Inspire Public Relations team who contributed to the event: Emily Bettridge, Jenn Dybicz, Maggie Noonan, Kellie Churchman, Shelby Cronk, Allie Kukla, Lacey Woltz, Emily Scott, and Cami Porcaro.