Last week was Indy Impact's first fundraiser, a Taste of Equality, a wine tasting supporting marriage equality. I am glad to report that the event was a HUGE success! With almost 100 people in attendance, with the wine flowing freely, this new contender fighting for LGBT rights was able to raise over $1200, with $1000 to be donated to Lambda Legal to fight for marriage equality.
More after the jump...
A little over three months ago at our last protest, Kathy approached my husband and me. While riding her bike, she had noticed our protest and the signs about marriage equality and wanted to help organize a fundraiser, but not any ol' fundraiser - A WINE TASTING fundraiser. She gave us her contact information, and though we were both excited about the prospect of coordinating a wine tasting (how Gossip Girl!), we were unsure if Indy Impact had the resources to pull off such an event.
After a few days of mulling the idea around (and taking a much needed breather from organizing the Day of Decision protest), we had the name of our event - A Taste of Equality and contacted Kathy at John's Fine Wine and Spirits (21N. Pennsylvania in downtown Indy) and we started planning our first fundraiser.
Our original plans called for 8 different wines and for the entire event to take place in the basement of John's, a wine cellar converted from old bank vault. Once presale tickets were printed, flyers were posted and we started advertising the event, we soon realized that this event was going to be MUCH bigger than anticipated. What started off as a possible 20-30 people soon became 60-70 with over a week until the actual event took place. As more and more people started asking for presale tickets, Kathy started adding more and more wines to the list, and we decided to expand the wine tasting areas to the upper floor of John's.
By the night of the event, Kathy included over 20 wines to be sampled by our guests. Expecting upwards of 100 people, we added an additional sampling area across the street at Vito's. We decided to capitalize on the momentum and pulled together a raffle to raise additional funds to be donated to Lambda Legal. The raffle included three (3) wine carriers, two (2) pedicures, a set of two (2) 4th row Fever tickets, and a wine basket complete with three (3) bottles of wine and two (2) crystal wine glasses.
Over the evening, we encouraged everyone to write messages on two canvases that included the flyer for "A Taste of Equality" and the Indy Impact Logo. As we raffled off the prizes, we passed around the canvases, having everyone write why they supported marriage equality, regardless of orientation. It is our plan to present these messages to the Indiana State Legislature the next time the anti-gay marriage amendment is reconsidered.
By the end of the evening we had close to 100 people in attendance and raised over $1200. After paying for the h'orderves, flyers, and decorations, and providing enough money to keep the Indy Impact website up for 6 more months, we are still able to donate $1000 to Lambda Legal!
If you missed the first Taste of Equality, don't fret! We are already planning A Taste of Equality: The Encore. Though the date hasn't been set yet, it may happen as soon as November. Those who attended our first fundraiser and signed up for our mailing list will be the first to know. Now that we know what a success this type of event can be, we'll be pulling out all the stops to make the next wine tasting even better (including a larger venue!!!).
Though we enjoyed the tremendous success of our first fundraiser, we here at Indy Impact will still be coordinating public demonstrations and rallies to show Hoosiers that we deserve a taste of equality. Our next event will take place in University Park to coincide with the National Equality March on Coming Out Day (October 11th) for those unable to attend the march on Washington.
If you would like to volunteer, help organize, sponsor, or contribute in any way to make this or any other Indy Impact event a success and make an IMPACT for LGBT rights in Indiana, please email Indy Impact at firstname.lastname@example.org. The only way we'll ever secure any of our rights is by taking to the streets and demanding the rest of Indiana take notice.