Richardson East Rotary Club's first virtual Games and Gala – Big Success!

On February 27th, Richardson East Rotary Club held its Games and Gala, the first ever virtual! When planning started back in July 2020, there was still a chance to hold an in-person event, however rather quickly it was apparent that it would be very questionable and therefore all efforts were put into a virtual event.

As the planning proceeded, the response from the sponsors, the Richardson community, Rotarians, and friends of Rotarians was tremendous. Sponsorships exceeded the budgeted amount for the event and the silent auction proceeds from the on-line bidding exceeded expectations. The icing on the cake is also that with a virtual event being at a lower cost level, more money will be left to support deserving students with scholarships.

Games and Gala emcee Tom Hummel and RERC president Mary Bedosky lead the event on 2/27/2021

Leading up to the event, a massive challenge was put on the shoulders of the Games and Gala chairperson, Wendy Seale and her co-host Stephanie South. They never wavered in their quest to make the event the best ever and they instilled a lot of hope and confidence in the Richardson East Rotary Club that it would be possible to pull off an awesome event. When Wendy landed our signature sponsor for the event, we were off to an awesome start.

Early on, the decision was made on making the proceeds go to scholarships for Richardson ISD students. Though this is something the club has done for a long time, it helped to set a very clear goal on where proceeds raised were going to make the best possible impact. Leading up to the event, several interviews were conducted with RERC scholarship recipients from 2020, which were posted on social media. Their testimonials made the connection between donations and benefits very clear as receiving the scholarships make a difference in the pursuit of their educational goals.

In the week leading up to the event, there were 3 Richardson restaurants that created special meals for the participants of the Games and Gala. With this win-win approach $5 was donated to the fundraiser for each order sold. Before the event, packages were delivered to all participants, containing items to enhance the fun at the event. Funny glasses, entertaining games and, of course, the bingo cards for the patrons who elected to play bingo at the event.

The event was conducted without a hitch and using a real production studio made it look professional at the same time as some of the stress was taken out for the live coordination. Overall, between 90-100 participants logged in, with multiple people at each location, and the estimate is that participation was between 150 – 200 people. The participants were broken out into different virtual rooms to play bingo and trivia which made live interaction possible.

Finally, a very BIG “Thank You” to all the sponsors, patrons, silent auction donors and the participating restaurants. Many RISD students will benefit from your generosity, making their educational goals possible to achieve.

Games & Gala Sponsors