This week’s chapter spotlight is Theta Eta (Western University) who totally knocked their 5th annual Red Dress Gala out of the park. Megan Christopher, the former vice president of marketing, shares how restructuring their donation solicitation process, adding games and truly embracing heart health as a theme yielded the best Red Dress they’ve hosted yet!
Event Name: Red Dress Gala
Location: Delta London Armouries Hotel
How many times have you hosted this event?
Tell us a little bit about the event:
Our 5th Annual Red Dress Gala was a formal sit-down dinner featuring a silent auction, a speech from Alpha Phi Foundation, a wine pull and a 50/50 raffle. We carried out the “healthy heart” theme throughout the event. Some examples of our baskets were a yoga themed basket, an Everything Red basket and a gluten-free bakery basket. We were lucky to have fantastic Greek apparel sponsors, as well. Guests loved the opportunity to purchase letters and Alpha Phi jewelry right at the auction. In the past, we had asked every member to contribute an item to the basket, but this year we had a smaller committee of members going out and pursuing donations and sponsorships.
What do you plan to improve for next year?
We need more entertainment at our Red Dress Events. Either a fun, interactive activity at the tables or a DJ would help create a better atmosphere. In the future, it would be nice to incorporate a dance floor. Additionally, registration and check-out could run a lot smoother. Having runners and an online check-out process would help.
What tips would you offer other chapters looking to host an event like this?
My advice would be to have a detailed plan and checklist from the day you start looking for venues up until the end of the event, especially for the day of. Between sponsorships, ticket sales, and decor planning, the event takes time and energy. An organized committee that can stick to deadlines is key to a successful Red Dress Gala. As long as there is time to plan it and a detail-oriented committee, it can be a really rewarding event. Of all of our philanthropic initiatives, the Red Dress Gala always raises the most money for us and is a great way to get parents and alumnae involved in the chapter.