Erik Hite Foundation wanted to create a unique experience for their guests for their annual Circle of Care Gala, which would raise funds for daycare for local Tucson first responders. The problem? They only had six weeks to host an event for 250 people. Yikes!


The Celebrate for Good team quickly hosted a brainstorming session and came up with some event design elements that would be realistic to implement with the short timeline while at the same time keeping the guests (and their experience) in mind! The theme was “Children Are Our Future” and elements included:

  • Food: Inspired by childhood favorites like grilled cheese, meatloaf and fun candy!

    • Appetizer: Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

    • Main Course: 48 hours cooked short rib with loaded jus, sweet potato puree, aged cheddar baked potato and brussel sprouts, lavosh, rolls and butter

    • Dessert: Milk chocolate mousse, chocolate pop rocks, raspberry syrup

  • Drinks: A complimentary beverage for guests while they perused the silent auction offerings

    • Drink Option: Prickly pear margarita

  • Digital and Printed Materials: Inspired by balloons and circles

  • Other Elements: Gather photos from local officials and program participants of when they were children and now to play off of the childhood theme, lunch bags that included swag items.

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Most events seek sponsorships to cover their expenses, but they don’t always consider WHY they are partnering with that sponsorship source. It is important to find sponsorships that align with the audience attending your event. In this case, sponsors who’s cliental would also support first responder causes.

For this event, we applied sponsorships to experiential elements so that the guests attending had a great experience. We believe that it attributed to the overall donation amount (in addition to a short program)!


A post-event survey was sent to guests asking about their experience, overall sentiment, and for qualitative feedback. Here is what they said:

  • Venue Selection: 93% gave a 5 out of 5 response

  • Cocktail Hour: 86% gave a 5 out of 5 response

  • Event Program: 66% gave a 5 out of 5 response

  • Food: 73% gave a 5 out of 5 response

  • Decor/Room Set Up: 66% gave a 5 out of 5 response



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