By Beverly Kievman Copen
Sedona AZ (February 21, 2013) – Friday Night, February 8th at Marketplace Café was absolutely fantastic! There was standing room only for most of the evening at our first “Acts of Kindness” Event, and people were still dancing at 11:00 pm. Approximately 20 musicians donated their time and talent, entertaining us throughout the evening. Even kids from our community were there with Jeanie Carroll, Music Director at Big Park Community School, to sing The Children’s Anthem (aka) “We are the Children of the World,” a song written by Shondra Jepperson. Local merchants contributed gifts valued between $26 and $260 each, and over 100 raffle tickets were sold, raising approximately $3,000 from the raffle sales alone. There were a number of spontaneous donations, including a couple from Illinois who said they just made a reservation for dinner with no idea of what was happening that night. They were so caught-up in the spirit of the celebration that evening that they stayed until the very end and wrote a check to Big Park Community School.
We are still counting, and money continues to come in from unsolicited sources, but we know that over $6,500 has been collected so far for Big Park School. We have clearly demonstrated that we do have a sense of “community” and understand how to care about each other. Acts of Kindness are contagious, and we are feeling the ripple effect already of adopting this theme for our new 2013 year. There have been so many great ideas shared since that night in terms of what we can do going forward, and in the next few weeks we will be announcing upcoming events. Our plans are to have at least three more major events this year, probably in April, September and November. The charitable organizations have not yet been chosen. However, for the April Event, serious consideration is being given to what is called the “Backpack Program,” a function of the Verde Food Council, designed to address the needs of hungry children in our community.
Currently, to continue our efforts on behalf of Big Park Community School, all of the smaller photos in the Hollywood Legends Room at Marketplace Café are now on sale for $26, and a half dozen of the very large classic photographs are priced between $200 and $500. As with all of the artwork and photography currently on sale at MPC, we are donating 15% of the sales revenue to Big Park Community School.
Our Sponsor Program is still under development. However, we already have one major sponsor at the Diamond level. The Max James Family Foundation, on behalf or Camp Soaring Eagle has written a check for $2,600 to Big Park Community School. There are three sponsor levels: Diamond Sponsors – $2,600, Platinum Sponsors – $1,300 and Gold Sponsors – $260. At this point we know that each sponsor will receive free rounds of golf at Sedona Golf Resort and free desserts at Marketplace Café. We are putting together a lodging package that will be part of the benefit for each sponsor. In addition, each sponsor will be listed on all advertising and marketing materials, highlighted on the www.mpcsedona.com website and given recognition in periodic e-mail newsletters. There will be a listing of sponsors in KUDOS and The Villager and they will also be highlighted in special feature stories describing the “Acts of Kindness” Theme throughout the 2013 year.