Blog

Recap of Be Our Guest

November 10, 2016
Broad Street Ministry - Be Our Guest Event © Ed Hille
Broad Street Ministry – Be Our Guest Event © Ed Hille

Broad Street Ministry is a values based organization.

Broad Street Ministry values inclusivity.

Broad Street Ministry needs to have a big bash fundraiser.

How can an organization that values inclusivity engage in a “pay to play” evening?  How can we be authentically BSM and make visitors feel welcome?   These were the concerns and questions that created Be Our Guest, BSM’s inaugural fundraiser hosted on-site at BSM by staff, partners, congregants and volunteers.

When we weren’t sure how to pull this off, we thought back and began the same way BSM began 11 years ago, by inviting you in…for dinner. Just as we were shocked by the turnout in May of 2005, Thursday, October 13th, 2016 was historic. We asked you to come hungry for transformation—a tall order for 200 strangers. Once again, you surprised us with your ability to take risks, say “yes” and trust us.

Broad Street Ministry - Be Our Guest Event © Ed Hille
Broad Street Ministry – Be Our Guest Event © Ed Hille

With Motown music playing softly in the background over 200 guests attended a sold out evening (ahem-a SOLD OUT evening!). Be Our Guest included 17 different service areas for attendees to personally experience the “radical hospitality” offered daily.

Barriers were broken down as neighbors entered BSM for the first time, gasping in awe over the beauty of a dining room set exactly as it is 7 times a week, every week. Every single person that expressed an interest in attending was provided a seat through amazing sponsors. Inclusivity- check.

Broad Street Ministry - Be Our Guest Event © Ed Hille
Broad Street Ministry – Be Our Guest Event © Ed Hille

Corporations became partners as organizations came together to provide silent & live auction items, to sponsor service areas, and to “set the table” for a bountiful evening of amazing food on beautiful dishware, with donated lighting and sound that made the magic of this +100 year old building come to life.  Our partners, volunteers, and staff inspired attendees to open their minds, hearts, and offer themselves and their financial resources. Big bash dinner party-check. Funds raised check.

 

Broad Street Ministry - Be Our Guest Event © Ed Hille
Broad Street Ministry – Be Our Guest Event © Ed Hille

With intention, we chose to invite you into our home in order to be good stewards of your donations and, to share ourselves wholly and transparently. You heard about BSM’s work directly from the staff, partners, congregants, Hospitality & Corporate Council members, and volunteers that work together daily to create a more equitable Philadelphia. Authenticity-check.

Coming off the high of watching donor’s paddles battle for a dinner prepared by Steven Cook, Michael Solomonov, and Marc Vetri, BSM’s auctioneer Brian Adoff took the evening home by auctioning off 25 pairs of socks and six months of BSM mail service.  Generosity flooded our cathedral dining room as you made it a sea of white and black paddle numbers visually representing your commitment to BSM guests.

Broad Street Ministry - Be Our Guest Event © Ed Hille
Broad Street Ministry – Be Our Guest Event © Ed Hille

At BSM, everyone has something to contribute, everyone belongs. Whether you’ve been here each week or haven’t yet made it inside—we would not be us if it wasn’t for you.  Thank you to the amazing partners and patrons that made this historic night possible. Because of you, we raised over $60,000!

Be Our Guest Partners-Our Gratitude to you….

To the amazing staff and leadership of DoubleTree by HiltonHotel Philadelphia Center City– thank you for being our MVP’s of generosity-the support you provided is too enormous to list.  This wouldn’t have happened without each of you.

Thank you to PSAV for literally lighting our way.

Ebe you provided us music to aid in our celebration—thank you!

To Allstate, PECO, PHLCVB, the HCC’s Executive Council, Brendan Hartranft, Strangeloves, Sean Hammel and Harpoon Brewery, Zip Car, Breakthru Beverage, Sysco, thank you for taking a risk on us. Thank you for being generous and brave partners in this work with us.

 

 

Written by: Jess Paschke

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