Fundraisers Still Facing Virtual Moves and Cancellations

DULUTH, Minn.– Lots of organizations have struggled through the past year, as most of their major annual fundraisers have had to move either virtual, or canceled all together. This year, they are still running into some of the same issues but are hoping to round up support online.

Some of these fundraisers were all set up and ready to go as soon as Friday where St. Luke’s was set to hold their 18th annual gala, but now second, virtually.

“Its difficult, the virtual events typically don’t allow us the opportunity to celebrate as much as we have or honor some of our awardees or raise as much funds as we would when we are gathered together,” Catherine Carter Huber, Executive Director of St. Luke’s Foundation, said.

This year, St. Luke’s selected their level 2 nursery as the recipient of this fundraiser to purchase new equipment to help babies born at 32 weeks with various health needs from nutrition to respiratory issues. Staff says they will do what they can virtually, but look forward to gathering again in the future.

“I think there’s nothing as wonderful as gathering together and there’s a great energy when you have hundreds of people in a room celebrating and being hopeful and being philanthropically supportive,” Carter Huber said.

Another impacted fundraiser is with Animal Allies which is called Fur Ball, that happens mid-October and generates about $100,000 for the animals, but they have had to make the online switch as well.

“It was kind of disappointing we were really excited to kind of see familiar faces and be together and celebrate so that was a bit of a bummer but we are excited to try something new and offer this virtual event that’s gonna allow you know everybody in our community to come together and hopefully raise some money for the wiggle worms like this guy,” Nicole Facciotto, Humane Education Manager for Animal Allies, said.

On Saturday, Shoot for Fun, a sporting clay shoot set to raise funds for the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute was ready to make its 23rd annual return, and was called off completely.
Although this fundraiser helps the non-profit gain a third of its annual income the opportunity to raise awareness for adaptive sports is what will be missed as well.

“While it raises money, it really raises awareness about our programs and how impactful they are in our communities,” Eric Larson, Supervisor of Sports and Recreation for the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Center, said.

Courage Kenny says they might only see half of what they normally would this year but they’re still appreciative of the sponsors and community figures who have donated and especially offered their support in this time of need.

“Just because the events cancelled doesn’t mean that need to support this program goes away, in fact its even more paramount now,” Larson, said.

To donate to the St. Luke’s ‘Rock-a-Bye Ball’, click here.

Animal Allies is also encouraging those to visit their Facebook page to find updates on Fur Ball, which is set to take place virtually, October 15-17.

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