The future of Oliver Art Center is soaring thanks to their recent virtual fundraiser. Their recent No GalaGala Virtual Fundraiser and Online Auction was a tremendous success raising over $42,000 for the art center’s operations that were hit hard by COVID-19. Funds were raised in three different ways: Art of Giving sponsors who ‘matched’ the funds raised by golf ball sales. Individual balls were sold for $25 and each was a chance to win terrific prizes such as cash and Apple products. Numbered balls were loaded into a tub attached to drone that lifted the balls high into the air and dropped them close to a golf pin. The three closest balls and the one farthest were awarded prizes. The closest ball was a hole in one! “Like so many other organizations, we have been impacted by the pandemic and were forced to re-think our annual fundraiser, which was typically a gala and auction. We developed the No GalaGala as a sort of ‘non-event event’ that people could participate in virtually at any level of giving,” says Mercedes Michalowski, Executive Director.
In addition, the art center auctioned off items such as a round of golf at Crystal Downs Golf Club, one hour of flight instruction in a seaplane from NMC, private chef prepared dinner, and merchandise from Frankfort businesses. “The response from our local community businesses was truly outstanding. We were so inundated with donations, that we split them into two packages! Special thanks to those businesses and Crystal Lake Golf Course,” says Michalowski.
Both of these virtual events culminated in a 7-minute video that was released on OAC’s website on Thursday, August 27, at 7pm. Within minutes, there were hundreds of views of the video and prize winners were notified. “I would deem this a total success because we raised a substantial amount of money during a time when there is so much turmoil and unknown. It is truly a testament to our community and the importance of Oliver Art Center as a cornerstone of that community,” Michalowski said.