When “good causes” meet “high energy,” lots of fun — and fund-raising — can happen. That was the case at “Connecting for a Cause,” a fundraising event for Leadership Miami held January 16, 2014 at Florida International University (FIU) Downtown on Brickell.
Leadership Miami, an annual program of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, provides intensive learning and leadership development for the next generation of leaders. For its fundraising challenge, the participants formed six teams, each selecting a non-profit organization for which to raise funds.
“That’s where we came in,” said Erin Dowd, associate director, marketing & recruitment for the College of Business’ MBA & MIB programs. “The six Leadership Miami teams needed ‘seed money’ for their fund-raising projects, and we were pleased to offer FIU Downtown on Brickell as a site for their kickoff fundraiser and team competition.” FIU MBA and MIB programs hosted the evening event; sponsors were TD Bank and FIU’s Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center.
Over 260 people attended “Connecting for a Cause.” Each attendee donated a $25 registration fee ($35 at the door), designating which Leadership Miami team should receive the donation.
Guests enjoyed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and networking at the reception, held in the FIU dining hall transformed with hightop tables and food stations. Amelia Rea Maguire, senior executive director of Management Development for the College of Business, was the emcee of a short program; Stephen Barnett, executive faculty director of FIU MBA Programs, welcomed the group.
“Shark like” competition enables teams to raise more funds.
Each team had an opportunity to earn even more seed money for their fund-raising project. While the guests were enjoying the reception, the six Leadership Miami teams made presentations behind closed doors to a panel of four judges, explaining why their fundraising idea deserved additional money.
The winners were announced to the event attendees. Felipe F. Basulto, retail market manager of TD Bank, Greater Miami Dade, presented a cash prize of $2,000 to “Team 2 Full Circle,” working for Chapman Partnership. The runner-up team receiving $500 was “Team 1 One Miami” working for Ladies Empowerment & Action Program (LEAP). These awards were in addition to the $6,000 the six teams raised from registration fees for the evening.