Ice Ball 2020: A BIG Night In
Although this year’s Ice Ball Gala will have a new format and provide a new experience for our supporters and guests, as Big Brothers Big Sisters’ largest signature fundraiser, it remains an important evening that makes a lifetime of difference for children in our community, at a time when they need us the most.
“COVID-19 may affect everyone… but it does not affect everyone equally. Even during the best of times, BBBS’ Littles face a higher level of adversity than the average young person in America,” says Lauren Portley, VP of Development for BBBS. “And now, we have reached a moment in time when young people in our community need additional support to deal with the unprecedented challenges created by the coronavirus.”
In response to the pandemic and the need to ensure the safety of our supporters and guests, this year’s Ice Ball gala will become ‘A BIG Night In,’ an online evening of entertainment, inspiration, and revelry, with a life-changing purpose. For the first time, we will be delivering this special event as a livestreamed experience, giving participants the opportunity to make a difference from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
“Making the decision to shift Ice Ball to a virtual format was difficult,” says Lauren, “but the well-being and safety of our community is most important. And, we will still be delivering an exceptional, mission-driven event…. one that makes a difference for kids in our community well beyond the event itself. And that’s what Ice Ball is truly all about.”
“We certainly will miss having the opportunity to gather in-person for our annual gala,“ said Brent Fields, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ CEO, “but I could not be more excited about all the innovative and fun elements planned for this ‘BIG Night In’!”
“I’m also grateful to have the ability to reach a much larger audience, while supporting everyone’s freedom to participate from the comfort of their homes this year. At BBBS we’re all about connections, and this annual event will continue to achieve that goal of gathering hundreds of supporters around the urgent and important mission of serving this community – at a time when they need us most. My hope is that we’ll not only raise the necessary funds to support our services, but that we’ll provide an unprecedented experience for connecting with our mission in new and special ways.”
Ice Ball 2020: A BIG Night In will take place on August 22, 2020 and will begin at 6:30 pm with an online cocktail reception where attendees will have the opportunity to mix and mingle.
The evening’s program will go from 7 – 8 pm, and it will include inspiring stories, special guests, an online auction, a live auction, presentation of this year’s Ice VII Award to Carly and Clayton Christopher, and the opportunity to learn more about BBBS’ mission and impact.
Some of the new features of this year’s gala include:
No Charge/All Access Pass – This year’s Ice Ball tickets will be free of charge, encouraging broader participation and exposing a larger audience to our mission. Viewers will be able to participate from anywhere in the country. Although tickets will not be sold, pre-registration is required.
Pre-event Fund-A-Friendship Gifts – Donors who make tax-deductible gifts of $1,250 or more, the cost of funding a mentoring relationship for a child for an entire year, by or before August 1, will be recognized on the Ice Ball event website, in the gala program, and in the evening’s live-streamed event broadcast.
Online Auction – An online auction will begin August 1st and run through August 22nd.
Ice VII Award – During the gala broadcast, we will be presenting Carly and Clayton Christopher with Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Ice VII Award in honor of the exceptional contributions they have made to both BBBS and the Ice Ball gala.
Curated House Parties – Donors and sponsors who contribute $3,500 or more will have the opportunity to have specially curated house parties for up to 10 people in their homes that include a custom-created dinner menu with wine pairings. Alternatively, for sponsors who prefer to maintain physical distancing, we will offer home-delivery of an intimate meal for two, also paired with wine.
“We are so excited to help our sponsors host highly curated, customized pop-up parties from the comfort of their own homes,” says Lauren.
While some things about Ice Ball 2020 will clearly be new and different, a number of event features will remain the same.
A BIG Night In will still include a live auction featuring exciting packages and experiences, a mission-centered match story, and a Fund-A-Friendship gift drive. Viewers will be able to participate by placing bids and making donations from their phones and computers.
“We understand that this is a challenging and uncertain time for everyone. Because so many of the families we serve are disproportionally impacted by the COVID crisis, we also know that our work is as important as it has ever been. We’re still serving our kids and still making life-changing matches,” says Lauren. “We need our supporters more than ever.”
By adapting our signature Ice Ball Gala to become a virtual ‘BIG Night In,’ we look forward to providing a unique, accessible and safe event that allows to us to continue to engage supporters near and far around our work to support the children in our community who need us most.
“We are so thankful for your support as we navigate this changing environment,” says Lauren. “With your help, we can rise to meet this moment and provide children in our community with the support they need to thrive.”
Learn more and sign up to enjoy Ice Ball 2020: A BIG Night In at www.AustinIceBall.org