We are thrilled to finally share this amazing event that Harrison and Shriftman PR team recently helped coordinate. Driving Force Giving Circle is a non profit organization founded by Serena Williams, Common and Carolina Panthers football player James Anderson. They recently held a kick off event in NYC to raise money for the cause.
We were thrilled to design the invitations, silent auction signs, table signs and other fun stationery for the Driving Force Giving Circle event!
Thanks to our friend, Lara Shriftman, for the great writeup on the event. Take a peek at the fun photos and read the details below.
Venus Williams and DFGC co-founder professional football player, James Anderson. (Above)
MC Ricky Rickona Smith, Venus Williams, James Anderson (Above)
DFGC Secretary Alan Sacks, Laura Sacks and DFGC co-founder professional football player, James Anderson. (Above)
Founder and Managing Partner of Rose Capital Advisors Michael Rose, Venus Williams and Alan Sacks (Above)
Isha Price and DFGC President and co-fonder James Anderson singing karaoke on stage. (Above)
MC Ricky Rickona Smith and James Anderson (Above)
MC Ricky Rickona Smith and musician Matt Cusson (Above)
MC Ricky Rickona Smith, Jenny Goldstock Wright, James Anderson (above).
Michael Rose, Jenny Goldstock Wright, James Anderson, Isha Price and Alan Sacks. (Above)
Professional Football player Bryant McKinnie sings onstage at Driving Force Giving Circle Karaoke Kickoff Event. (Above)
Professional Football Player Bryant McKinnie (Above)
Professional Football player Justin Tryon (Above)
Professional Football Player Louis Murphy (Above)
Professional Football Player Steve Weatherford (Above)
Tia Robbins and Professional Football player Fred Robbins (Above)
Silent Auction (Above).
By: Lara Shriftman Author of Party Confidential, www.partyconfidential.com, www.hs-pr.com, www.luluflynn.com
DRIVING FORCE GIVING CIRCLE SILENT AUCTION
The Driving Force Giving Circle (DFGC) is a nonprofit organization that leverages donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations collectively to support charities and initiatives. The DFGC was founded by my friend Serena Williams, along with rapper and actor Common, and Carolina Panthers football player James Anderson. Their main focus is ensuring equity for all in the United States and beyond. Serena loves karaoke, so for their first initiative, Huddle Up!, the founders hosted a high-profile “Karaoke Kick-off” party at Jelsomino Karaoke Bar in New York City to raise money for this cause. I worked closely with Serena to pull off this private event and Silent Auction for Huddle Up!. Rick Smith, known as Rickonia was the MC for the event. Rick is a writer for Black Dynamite on Adult Swim and has a great following.
Jelsomino is a bar and lounge known for its Karaoke experience. They have a large selection of songs and even an in-house recording studio. They also offer a backstage room with makeup artists and provide backup singers on their main stage.
Guests enjoyed tray-passed appetizers like mussels gratin with kim chi sauce and tiger shrimp with tempura and popcorn from Courgette, the restaurant above Jelsomino. There was also a special selection of vegan appetizers for Serena and Venus.
For dessert, guests enjoy an assortment of passed mini cupcakes from Baked by Melissa, with flavors like S’mores, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Pink Velvet. Baked by Melissa cupcakes are perfect for events and parties because they come in a variety of flavors and colors. On their website you can customize your own cupcakes with different icing, toppings and stuffing.
Serena loves candy and is infamous for having candy bars at her parties as a form of decoration. One of my favorite parties I did her for was a candy-themed birthday for her at my house. This is where the inspiration came from for this event. Naturally, there was every kind of candy you could imagine. At this event, Hammond’s Candies set up a candy bar for guests to create their own assortment of sweets. Hammond’s Candies was has been making chocolates and candies since 1920. At the event, they had a variety of Hammond’s classic candy to choose from, like a display of Lollipops including Grape and Very Berry flavors as well as a Candy Cane bucket with All-Natural Cherry and All-Natural Strawberry Candy Canes.
The venue was decorated with small white Lafco Candles along the bar and Karaoke tables. LAFCO New York – Luxury Articles & Fragrance Co. was started by former lawyer Jon Bresler over 20 years ago. Jon studied essences and alchemy in Grasse and Florence and with his olfactory abilities Lafco specializes in fragrances and perfumes.
Upon entrance, Caliche Rum treated guests to their signature cocktails. The Barmaid, Cali Mojito, and Cali Grapefruit were passed all night on white C. Wonder trays.
1 1/2 oz Caliche Rum
1/2 oz Bianco Vermouth
2 Fresh Ginger Wheels
2 Dashes Angostura bitters
Ginger Sliver for garnish
In a cocktail shaker muddle the ginger to a puree, add the remaining ingredients and shake vigorously until well chilled, serve over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with the ginger.
2 oz Caliche Rum
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
¾ oz Simple Syrup
8 Mint Leaves
Crushed ice on top
In a rocks glass, combine all ingredients, lightly muddle mint leaves. Top with crushed ice or preferably nugget ice. Garnish with a mint sprig
2 oz Caliche Rum
½ oz Campari
1 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
Top with Soda Water
Garnish: Grapefruit peel
In a mixing tin, combine all ingredients, except soda. Ice shaker and shake vigorously until well chilled. Strain into an ice filled highball glass and top with soda water.
George Clooney and Rande Gerber’s recently launched Casamigos Tequila (Remember our post recently about designing for them!) also set up a tequila tasting bar for guests to try their signature tequilas, Blanco and Reposado. Their classic cocktails like the Daisy, The Clooney, and Su Casa – George’s take on the Paloma, were featured for guests to try the variety of ways Casamigos can be mixed.
1.5 oz Casamigos Reposado
¾ Fresh Lime Juice
½ oz Grenadine
Method: Shake all with ice except club soda. Strain into an ice filled old-fashioned glass. Top with club soda. Garnish with lime wedge
1.5 oz Casamigos Blanco
3 oz Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
Splash of freshly squeezed lime
½ oz Agave Nectar
Method: Mix all ingredients and shake. Pour over ice. Garnish with smoked salt rim with Ruby Reg grapefruit slice and Luxardo cherry
The Karaoke party included a Silent Auction as well as a Live Auction with proceeds going to Huddle Up!, focused on the intersection of minority male achievement using the framework of parental engagement in the middle school years. The initiative was created in collaboration with the US Department of Education and will pilot in several large school districts across the United States in the fall of 2013. The athletes, celebrities, corporation, and foundations supporting the initiative will donate to DFGC, which will in turn underwrite the pilot programs.
To raise proceeds for Huddle Up! The silent auction was held in a private room at the venue with items such as a Lafco Candle gift set and gift card, two pairs of Sorel Shoes for men and women, a Lova Tea $100 gift certificate, Playstation Vita, 2 Wilson tennis racquets, a Blackberry and a $200 gift certificate to The Smith.
The Live Auction included items such an evening with Andy Cohen of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live and two tickets to the taping of The Daily Show with John Stewart.
Sidebar: How to Have a Silent Auction
Make a list of items you will want to auction off.
Make a list of contacts who you can ask to donate those items.
Write an ask letter and send it to your contacts. Be sure to follow up with your contacts.
Find items that people would actually want to bid on, or that are creative. For example, if you were going to give away water, consider instead giving away one case of water per month for a year.
Make sure to package all your items in a creative way. It will make them more desirable, and sell faster.
Set up the Silent Auction and display all the items.
Figure out a minimum bid price. Then raise the price in increments of $20, depending upon what the item is.
Make bid sheets.
Figure out how people will pay for the items.
Consider when and how the buyers will take their gifts home.
Luxury, fashion and lifestyle expert Lara Shriftman co-founded Harrison & Shriftman in 1995. The agency specializes in public relations, marketing and events for high-profile luxury brands. In addition to serving as a correspondent for Extra with her own segment, Party Confidential, Lara has authored four books on entertaining, Fete Accompli , Fete Accompli Workbook, Party Confidential and Party Confidential: New Etiquette for Fabulous Entertaining.