Event of the Week: Wattypalooza

August 18, 2014

Group Gets Creative to Raise Money for MS

The Hinton MS Bike Tour has raised a lot more money thanks to the June 14th Wattypalooza at Hazeldean Community Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. The party supports The Time-Travelling VELOciraptors in their fundraising efforts for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. This is host Travis Watt’s sixth Wattypalooza, with the last two raising money for MS. The theme had everyone donning white duds with black lights illuminating the hall.

Watt holds these extravaganzas “to have fun, meet up with old and new friends and, most of all, raise money for MS,” and he fulfilled his goals. Attendees clocked in at 226 people and they raised $4,186.50 by the end of the night. Five organizers spent five months “aggressively posting on Facebook and selling tickets to anyone down for a party.” Other stats for the night include 12 volunteers working the event, 570 beers sold, 160 pieces of pizza eaten and $400 filling the MS tip jar.

Watty2

Watty3

The rollicking night included three live sets from Mourning Wood, plenty of dancing, record spinning from DJ Choink and raffles of a 6-litre bottle of Belvedere Vodka and a Bud Light Goal Light. Comments on Facebook the next day include “What an epic night!”

This year’s tour takes place September 6 and 7, and goes through the Rockies. The “adrenaline packed” 90km tour “blazes through the wilderness on single and double track routes,” and is considered “a must for anyone looking for an adventure in the great outdoors.” There are currently 167 cyclists signed up on 21 teams, and the VELOciraptors are fourth among the fundraising teams online.

Organizers used social media and word-of-mouth to promote their party, and Watt says that having “one of the best cover bands in Alberta” perform really made the night a treat. “In their third set,” he remembers, “they played White Wedding by Billy Idol and we released over 100 white balloons and white streamers into the hall. This lead to the immediate popping of 100 balloons, which made the hall sound like fireworks were going off. It was a great moment.”

Watt has practical advice for other party planners. “Always buy more than you need,” he notes, “as it’s easier to take stuff back then to run out during the event. Schedule volunteers for specific positions. Have some sort of raffle or 50/50 to raise more money for your charity, and sell pizza for a low cost way to keep people fed.”

How do you make sure your parties become epic events?

 

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