We are thrilled to share that our second annual IGNITE the NITE was a GLOW-ing success. To be frank, we were nervous. We are a young, grassroots organization with no experience planning or executing major fundraising events. Our growth and the success of our mission are hinged not on high society connections or a handful of wealthy benefactors but the support and engagement of individuals and the generosity of our community. The prospect of decorating and filling a massive, highly-visible space like the EpiCenter was daunting. The high fundraising goals we set for ourselves sometimes seemed out of reach. The process of trying to assemble a silent auction that offered something for everyone felt impossible at times. But, as always, we refused to give up.
“Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.”
Indeed, every one of Boston GLOW’s endeavors serves as a mirror of sorts for us as a leadership team, for our volunteers and our supporters. Not the yikes-I-hate-trying-on-bathing-suits-in-department-stores-in-the-dead-of-winter kind of mirror but the kind that seems to look back and say “yes, you did just do that, and you did a damn good job, girl. Onto the next big thing – and make it bigger and better!” One of the greatest realizations we had as a team this year is that GLOW does for us what we try to do for the young women we work with – it strengthens us as leaders, gives us confidence and courage and serves as a reminder that our voices are valued and our goals are attainable.
IGNITE the NITE is not just a big party. While it’s that too, our primary goals to raise scholarship funds for the finalists of the IGNITE Change Essay contest and to spread the word about the mission of Boston GLOW, raise awareness and engage new supporters and volunteers. We can confidently say we nailed all three categories:
Boston GLOW met our fundraising goal for the second time in two years – raising over $20,000 in scholarship funds for the finalists of the IGNITE Change Essay Contest. Our silent auction – which sparkled with fantastic packages donated by local businesses, supporters of GLOW, corporations, friends and family – netted over $8,000.
We hosted over 250 guests, most of them new to Boston GLOW, including City Councilor Ayanna Pressley (who gave a keynote speech) and Karen Kaplan, two of our favorite female leaders in the Boston community. We have been inundated with emails expressing support for our mission, inquiries about volunteer opportunities and requests for collaboration among a wide range of other non-profit organizations and corporations alike.
We attracted attention from a wide range of media outlets – over 200 national publications, from Reuters International to CBS Money, promoted IGNITE and a number of Boston’s best newspapers and magazines covered the event. We forged new relationships with non-profits and corporations alike, including FemCity, Ameriprise Financial, Hill Holliday and Artists for Humanity.
We were able to fill the event space with glowing light, color, flowers, lounge areas and one-of-a-kind furniture thanks to sponsors New England Country Rentals, Party by Design, Be Our Guest and Winston Flowers.
Guests raved about the food prepared by celebrity chef Tony Ambrose and his team at Ambrosia Events and Catering – which included Salmon Tartare with Caraway, Cumin Oil and South China Sea Salt, Tempura Shrimp Toast Cubes with Spicy Mayo, Crispy Coconut Chicken Spring Rolls, Creamy Fuji Apple Confit Risotto with Scallion Oil and a central station where Chef Ambrose individually plated Shaved Sweet Garlic Soy Roasted Sirloin over Stilton Fingerling Potatoes.Piano-based rock quartet City of Squares wowed the crowd with their original songs, which combine the ferocity of powerhouses such as Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson with the sophisticated sensibility of poets like Sarah McLachlan and Damien Rice, and covers of beloved pop and rock music.
… It is impossible to adequately express here our gratitude to each of the individuals and businesses who attended IGNITE and contributed time/services/goods to the event or silent auction. Suffice it to say, Boston GLOW could never grow as it does if it weren’t for the kindness and compassion of the people in our community. We are immensely appreciative of every contribution – small or large – as every bit counts. Please see our Sponsors page for a full listing of all who gave of themselves for Boston GLOW this year.
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”
- Robert F. Kennedy