The club is hopeful that they'll have the event on Dec. 4.
The Kiwanis Club of Longboat Key met for the first time since early July for breakfast and brainstorming. On Aug. 19, the club gathered at the Lazy Lobster to start putting together plans for a potential Lawn Party.
The last one was held in December 2019 at the Longboat Key Club’s Harbourside Ballroom and benefited the All-Star Children’s Fund. This year, the event is planned for Dec. 4 at a yet-to-be-determined location and will benefit the Children’s Guardian Fund, a local organization that provides foster children and families with tutoring, school help and meals. Incoming club President and Lawn Party chair Michael Garey said the club was motivated to keep the money raised by the event local.
“It’s always been a great event for a great cause, but we never really saw where the money was going and we weren’t seeing that local impact,” Garey said.
Members agreed that a higher level of optimism towards the pandemic would be needed to make the party a success. So far there is no location nailed down, but several members are hoping to use Longboat Key's Town Center Green.
Garey, who will co-chair the event with wife Catherine, said that three things are essential for making the Lawn Party a success: focusing on selling raffle tickets, getting sponsorships and selling tables. The raffle will be a 50/50 this year, so there’s no pressure to hit a fundraising floor like in years past. Whoever wins will take home 50% of the total raised, and the club will donate the other half to Children’s Guardian Fund.
“Sometimes we get too caught up in how many restaurants will be there,” Garey said. “That’s important, but those three will make it a financial success.”
There are still unknowns as far as pricing for entry and raffle tickets, but members want to make it as enticing for as many people as possible. They’re hoping for pent-up demand post-pandemic and more optimism in regards to the virus.
“It’s going to take grassroots efforts to sell out, as always,” Garey said.
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