This past Sunday night, Carolina Hurricanes players, their wives, coaches, broadcasters and front office executives joined more than 500 Kids ‘N Community Foundation supporters at the year’s sold-out Casino Night & Wine Tasting sponsored by Convergence Technologies.
|Katharine Kelley |
To all of you who dressed up to walk down the long red carpet that stretched from outside of the VIP Entrance to the arena floor, thank you for helping the Kids ‘N Community Foundation raise more than $250,000 to support deserving non-profit children’s foundations and charities. And, for those of you who could not make it on Sunday, we missed you, and I’ll hopefully be able to give you a good overview of the night. Click here for a photo gallery from the event
This year’s theme, a red-carpet awards ceremony, stretched beyond the RBC Center doors. Before guests even entered the building, they were greeted with a limousine from Blue Diamond Transportation's new fleet. And, guests could not miss the JBL Tractor Trailer Truck that was here thanks to our generous sponsors, Convergence Technologies. Guests could walk through the truck and listen to surround sound at it’s finest – someone even walked away with a free surround sound receiver from Convergence Technologies.
On the way down to registration, faux-movie posters featuring Hurricanes players lined the hallways. Eric Staal was featured in The Godfather, Jeff Skinner headlined Million Dollar Baby with Morgan Freeman and Clint Eastwood in the background, and Brandon Sutter was changed to a blue Avatar. Before reaching the arena floor, guests could participate in the “Step and Repeat” where they were behind the paparazzi red rope and photographed like stars (indeed, they were stars for this night). Final theme touches include “C-A-N-E-S” eight foot gold letters in the distant seats (like the Hollywood sign), flashing cameras on the ribbon board, movie lights on the videoboard with rotating faux-movie posters, and a forty foot backdrop of a red carpet. Mike Morse from G105 rounded out the night and provided upbeat music the entire night, and Shutterbooth allowed everyone the opportunity to take home a film strip of pictures from that night (photo booths might be my new favorite additions to events).
Now that you’ve got a feel for the night, I’ll highlight some of the fundraising excitement…
- The Greenbrier (in West Virginia) not only provided an amazing package at the resort for the silent auction, but they also included a kick-back to the Kids ‘N Community Foundation. For anyone that decides to go to The Greenbrier, be sure to mention the Kids ‘N Community Foundation and the Greenbrier will make a contribution to the Foundation! It’s a great way to give back while you are enjoying some time off.
- A couple of our players were enthusiastic about the live auction packages, and they hopped up on stage to help get the crowd excited. Brandon Sutter and Jeff Skinner were up on stage to encourage guests to bid on the package that included go-karting, putt-putt and laser tag with them (bidding competition was high, so two of these experiences were offered).
- Cam Ward’s player basket was highly sought after as it included All-Star autographed memorabilia and a meet-and-greet with Cam after a game where you would receive his game-used stick from that night!
- In addition to autographed items and game-worn gloves, Jiri Tlusty also had an experience in his basket by included dinner with him at his favorite restaurant, Sullivan’s.
- Erik Cole’s player basket, or shall I say tulip flower bed/garden, was also a hit. Erik’s wife, Emily, spent hours that afternoon putting together a tulip garden that featured jerseys in the shape of tulips, a gnome with Joe Corvo’s face and a garden fence with player cards. It was definitely creative and an eye catcher.
- Finally, we brought back Day in Coaches’ Shoes again this year, and we sold-out of 30 spots in less than 10 minutes. Participants will enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the team while getting the inside scoop from coaches and enjoying lunch at the RBC Center!
All in all, the event was a huge success. The players kept the excitement running all night when they split time as dealers throughout the night. The Eye Care Associates Storm Squad sold 100 mystery autographed pucks while mingling with guests. Guests could also enjoy complimentary wine tastings from Total Wine and More, The Wine Merchant, Mutual Distributing, Tryon Distributing and Empire Distributors. Or, guests could enjoy the signature drink of the night, “red carpet royale,” or some beer courtesy of Natty Greene’s and R.A. Jeffreys. People never went hungry either with an overflow of delicious food including seared scallops, sushi, sashimi tuna, pot stickers, salads, roast beef, panko crusted chicken and more!
The silent auction also offered something for everyone in attendance, including beautification products and services, an experience at the Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure, great packaged trips, tickets to see Prince or Keith Urban from a luxury suite at the RBC Center, and tickets to see the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals and Carolina Panthers. No one went home empty handed. Thanks once again to Convergence Technologies, everyone went home with an electronics cleaner/duster that’s great for TV’s, stereo systems and computers. Be sure to check out their website www.convergence-technologies.com to see all the amazing things they can do to your home!
On March 28, the Kids ‘N Community Foundation Board will meet to distribute cash grants to deserving non-profits. Funds raised from Casino Night will have a direct impact on the lives of children and their families in the coming weeks once grants are allocated. If you want to learn more about the foundation or find out how you can be involved in our fund raising efforts, check out our website www.carolinahurricanes.com/foundation.