One of the things that makes Laddawn such a unique place to work is the number of people who dedicate themselves to causes that benefit the less fortunate. There are bake sales, fund raisers, walks and many other events through the course of the year. These events not only help others, but also create a bond between Laddawn employees outside the office walls. Last year, Laddawn employee Meredith Dennison had an idea for a benefit comedy night, so we sat down and found out more about this year’s event, which occurred this past Saturday.
1. Tell us a little bit about the Comedy Night – how long have you been doing it, how you got the idea, etc.
Comedy for a Cause is a feel good night of laughs designed to raise funds AND create awareness for Easter Seals of Massachusetts, an organization that helps provide equal opportunities for people with disabilities. This was our second annual event and the idea was born during a brainstorming session with fellow Laddawn employee Rich McCabe, who does brilliant stand up comedy. I just took the ball and ran with it!
2. Most people aren’t aware of how much work goes into putting on an event like this. Can you give us a little color on preparations?
I booked the venue right after last year’s event and started soliciting donations in August of last year. I’d send out a few “asks” each day, maybe about 300 in all by the time I was finished asking around. I had to track when responses were received, whether they were positive or negative and when donations landed in our hands. Ticket sales began around Christmas time. We also had to put together swag bags for each couple that attended, which was new for this year. The red carpet photo op entrance was new, too. It’s just a matter of trying to put myself in the attendees shoes and think of little touches to make the night as enjoyable and memorable as we can.
3. Tell us about the growth of the event.
Last year we had approximately 200 people attend and this year we had 330 people!
4. How did you get involved with Easter Seals?
Through exposure here at Laddawn. There are so many people at Laddawn, right up to our co-presidents, who are very passionate about Easter Seals and all the great things they do for people. It’s so cool to be employed at a place where so many people are eager to give back.
5. How much were you able to raise for Easter Seals through this event?
We raised just under $5,000 last year and this year we raised $10,475!
6. Have you thought at all about next year’s event and what might change?
The basic platform will remain the same but I’m thinking about adding some little touches, like a T-shirt launching sling shot. We actually had one on hand this year but didn’t use it. We may increase the number of live auction items from 2 to 4 and reduce the number of lower value raffle items. It will never be a “gala,” as that’s too stuffy for our style, but the primary goal for next year is to increase participation to gala status. We will also be assembling a small committee of serious volunteers to help out as I’ve learned that it truly takes a village.