The holiday season looms large after Halloween weekend, signalling the start of a very impactful time of year: gala season. For some, it’s nothing but a tax write off. For others, it’s a way to truly give back and connect.
Last week, I had the honor of attending the 10th annual POP Gala. Pencils of Promise is an organization built by Adam Braun, brother of music mogul, Scooter Braun. The first time I attended this event, Justin Bieber was honored. They auctioned off a game of 2-on-2 where the winning bidder got to play Justin Bieber and Shaq at Shaq’s house in L.A.
This year, the event was at The Brooklyn Navy Yard. MASSIVE! Tori Kelly serenaded the crowd and Zane Lowe manned the decks. The room was filled with top-notch entrepreneurs and the big debate was which is worth more: a mentor’s lunch with Scooter Braun or an hour in the studio with Usher? Scooter and Lewis Howe ended up buying the lunch themselves 😉
Pencils of Promise alum, Brad Haugen, was also in attendance. His company, ATTN:, is taking the Internet by storm with their difference-making viral video content. If you haven’t seen the Zooey Deschanel-starring Your Food’s Roots, check it out.
I was invited to sit at Joe and Christie Marchese’s table this time around. Christie was reliving the early days of POP and how she helped build one of the program’s first schools. Cut to 2018 and they’re auctioning off the naming rights to their 500th school. “If your dreams don’t scare you,” Adam Braun told the crowd, “you don’t dream big enough.”
Still reeling from the inspo of POP, I attended the Sing for Hope gala last night. This is a non-profit organization founded ten years ago by opera singers Monica Yunus and Camille Zamora. The two Juilliard grads established Sing for Hope as a resource for New York artists who want to give back to their communities. Its volunteer-driven outreach programs reach several thousand people each year at various under-resourced schools, community centers, and healthcare facilities in the five boroughs.
The Sing for Hope Pianos project, one of NYC’s largest public art projects, brings painted pianos to the city’s parks and public spaces for the enjoyment of all. The pianos are often the site of formal and impromptu concerts. They’re musical watering holes, if you will, for our city’s limitless population. After a two-week public residency, the Sing for Hope Pianos are donated. As CBS News put it, Sing for Hope is “reminding us all of the power of music to inspire and unite.”
If you too want to contribute to either of these wonderful organizations, info is available here:
PS: A couple articles below mentions e-sports, on that note, we are also working with one of the fastest growing e-sports companies and we believe is the future for advertisers/brands looking to engage with the lucrative gamer audience. The platform is called PlayVIG.
PlayVIG is a free to use, gaming application for e-sports/gamers that rewards users with prizes and cash for achievements within their favorite games (i.e. Fortnite, PUBG, League of Legends, Rocket League, etc). This platform provides a unique opportunity to get in front of this elusive demographic with a 100% opt in, premium ad experience that places your brand at center stage and engages gamers directly where they play!
We haven’t seen anything this exciting and unique in e-sports/gaming.