What’s in a successful club fundraiser?
Q&A with Banook’s New Years Eve Party Hosts
With rousing renditions of Auld Lang Syne, Champaign and all the other traditions that go along with New Year’s Eve, a crowd of 400 strong gathered at Banook Canoe Club to ring in 2012. Many local paddlers and even a few out-of-town National Team athletes dressed for a “Go for Gold Theme” and enjoyed the sounds of Scottie Penton & The Cheap Gang and The Adam Baldwin Band on one stage, while DJ AngusXO held down a second dance floor. This is the fourth year Banook has hosted a New Year’s Eve Celebration and each year it seems to get bigger as party organizers strive to outdo themselves. For a look at what goes into making New Year’s Eve at Banook such a successful club fundraiser, we caught up with two of the party organizers for their thoughts. Robin Thomson is Banook’s club manager and Andrew Russell is a long-time Banook athlete, Olympian and current National Team member.
Where did the idea for this event come from?
Andrew: The idea was born out of a lack of options for a good time on New Year's Eve, and an availability to utilize the canoe club as it was not booked at the time.
What does it take to organize an event like this?
Robin: It takes a core group of dedicated volunteers to make this event a success. This group puts in a lot of hours prior to and during the holiday season.
What makes this such a successful event?
Andrew: Obviously the event is very successful because of the people who work hard to make it so. Also, a captivating idea or musical attraction to bring people together doesn't hurt. Of the great musicians we have had, Angus Mortimer has helped out a lot by talking the event up and putting on a great show.
What is the biggest challenge in pulling this off?
Robin: The biggest challenge with this event is the time of year. We have to hustle to get great musicians to commit to New Years Eve for a not-for-profit group.
How do you promote the event?
Andrew: We promote the event through word of mouth, facebook, twitter and posters around the city. We’ve been really active on twitter with updates via @BanookCanoe, @AngusXO, and @arusscanoe which have been quite successful in getting the word out.
What’s your favourite part of hosting this event?
Robin: Personally my favorite part of this event is seeing everyone enjoy their time at Banook and telling me that they will definitely be back next year with more friends. Word of mouth is the best advertising for an organization like Banook.