Serviam Academy’s annual Evening Under the Stars is the kind of event that has come to be an unofficial kickoff to the beautiful season of late spring.
Each year the gala has grown in attendance and raised more funds for the tuition-free Wilmington school that serves middle school girls, accounting for 15% of their operating budget.
Like so many other big spring fundraisers so critical to schools and charities across the state, the COVID-19 pandemic means Serviam’s live event – scheduled for tomorrow night, Friday May 1 – will not go off as planned.
However, instead of canceling or postponing “Evening Under the Stars,” event organizers have gotten creative and decided to make the night an online opportunity for gathering not just supporters, but the broader community, including students and their families.
So tomorrow night, Serviam will host a free virtual soiree using Vimeo, featuring live music, stories of inspiration from students and alumnae, trivia, and, according to planning committee member Danielle Thomson, “a message of hope.”
‘Movies on Tap’ goes Netflix
Another organization that hasn’t let the quarantine interrupt their fundraising is Harvey, Hanna & Associates whose regular “Movies on Tap” events have raised tens of thousands for local charities. Last Friday’s feature “Raiders of the Lost Ark” was moved from its usual venue at the Penn Cinema Riverfront movie theatre to a virtual Netflix affair.
Harvey, Hanna’s Ryan Kennedy says the event took in $4600, which will provide over 13,500 meals for hungry children this week.
The next Movies on Tap is Friday May 15, Back to The Future via Netflix. The event will raise funds for the Delaware Restaurant Association’s relief fund. Kennedy says they will be recording Zoom calls with local owners, chefs and bartenders to promote the fundraiser via their Facebook page.
Schools use technology for auctions
The Independence School in Newark had originally planned to host their biggest fundraiser of the year, a Roaring Twenties-themed auction and gala, on April 16 at Greenville Country Club. Initially, organizers moved that date to May 15 then decided to move the event to make the event virtual.
“We’ll miss the dancing, music, and food of the live event but, the virtual auction has allowed us to involve even more members of the Independence community – no matter where they are located,” said school spokesperson Claire Brechter.
Brechter said they will be using the GiveSmart auction site for previewing items, bidding and purchasing. She said the virtual nature of the event will actually allow broader engagement with the Independence School community.
“It’s given us a great reason to reach out to those with whom we may have lost touch, too.”
Family-friendly Zoom Happy Hours will also take place just before the auction, arranged for specific groups – grade levels, alumni, faculty and staff. Brechter said they are expecting “a great turnout.”
Art museum streams live performances
The Delaware Art Museum is combining fundraising with a series of free performances at 6:30 on Fridays through May 22.
The “Watch Parties” featuring regional musicians can be accessed on the museum’s Facebook page. The 20 minute performances range from jazz and R&B to “algorithmic composition with audio-visual correspondence.”
The museum’s Cynthia Smith artists will be available to answer questions and provide insight into their creative processes.
“The DelArt Watch Parties grew from our search for ways to support the local creative community during the Covid-19 crisis,” said Smith. Watch Party attendees are encouraged to support the artists and museum with donations during the event.
Walkers can still walk for funds – just not together
Another big fundraising event each spring is the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community, which allows individual charities to raise funds through their participation. With no live walk happening this year, some organizations like the YWCA are promoting a virtual walk that can happen between May 9 and June 30.
The YWCA has a goal of raising $5,000. In an email to supporters they stressed that while the great big walk that happens every year won’t happen due to social distancing rules, a virtual walk is still a real walk. They said a walk can take place anywhere and anytime, including on a treadmill. They are encouraging supporters to post their walking on social media.
AIDS Delaware takes dining event to go
AIDS Delaware canceled its annual fundraiser which would have happened tonight, April 30. The event, Dining Out For Life International (DOFLI) raises funds through area restaurants donating 33 percent of their food sales to help people living with and affected by HIV in the Delaware Valley.
Now, AIDS Delaware is encouraging participants to support their local restaurants and to Dine In to celebrate what would have been the 30th anniversary of this event. The organization is encouraging supporters to both help local restaurants by ordering takeout while also donating 30 percent of their bill to the charity.