Since 2013 today would be the day that Spare Key staff would begin the process of moving our operations from our office to wherever it was we would be holding our annual Groove Gala.
From 2013 to 2015 it would have been at Aria in Minneapolis.
From 2016 until last year it would have been at The Depot in Minneapolis.
Today, there is no moving truck.
There are no weeks of silent auction items piling up in our office, bottles upon bottles of wine and liquor, décor and party supplies, and boxes upon boxes of other things ready to be loaded into an elevator to be brought to the ground floor of our office building.
There’s no Anchor Paper truck outside the front doors, or John, the driver, loading our precious cargo onto pallets and lovingly and patiently securing them and loading them into his truck for delivery to The Depot.
There’s none of that today.
Instead, all the silent auction items are sitting in the homes of Abby and Alexia. The bottles upon bottles of wine and liquor will have to wait until next year and the boxes upon boxes of other things have been delivered to people’s homes, near and far, over the past several days.
No Anchor Paper truck will arrive, no John driving it, and no pallets will be loaded into his truck.
This year there is no Groove Gala because COVID-19 makes it impossible for the 750 to 900 guests we have had in the past to gather safely.
Instead, we have built a virtual event that we call Hope Across America and it will be held on Saturday, February 27th at7:00 p.m. CST.
There will be a Silent Auction, a Live Auction, an Appeal, a speed raffle and more. A lot more. We have worked hard to give our Hope Across America event the same excitement, surprises and enthusiasm we have had at our Groove Gala.
We’ve condensed the entire program to a little more than 50 minutes. You can stay in your pajamas, make your own drink, use your own bathroom and talk as much as you want without being given a dirty look by other guests for being too loud.
It’s an interesting thing this transition from a Live Groove Gala to a Virtual Hope Across America Celebration.
It’s not any less work. In fact, it may be even more work. It takes an entire Team of staff, vendors, friends, videographers, editors, technicians and others to imagine the program, develop the program, prepare the program and produce the program.
We still need to find Sponsors – beg for Silent Auction items – curate Live Auction items – and do it and get it all done as soon as possible.
And nothing happens as fast as it should. Timelines are set and missed and set and missed again and then again.
Staff gets stressed and from time to time gets on one another’s nerves and the closer we get to the event perhaps even on that one last nerve that each of us has.
Yet, there’s never a moment that goes by when we don’t realize that we’re all in this together.
There are emails to send – Board Members to wrangle – and people to register.
It’s a big transition to go from something we’ve been doing for nearly a decade to suddenly having to do something we’ve never done before.
What will the night hold for this event? How much will we raise?
I can’t answer the latter, but I do have a pretty idea of the former.
We’ve done all we can to present an entertaining 50 minutes of celebrating Spare Key to those who have registered already, and those who will want to register, for free, at: https://bit.ly/HopeAcrossAmerica
I am confident that those who attend will be entertained. There will be laughter. There will be some shocked surprises. And, yes, there will be tears.
But there will also be Hope.
Because that is what this event is all about: Hope.
Hope for Spare Key to raise the funds we need to bring Hope to families facing a medical crisis.
I’d rather be preparing to gather with hundreds of our friends and supporter’s tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. CST at The Depot in Minneapolis.
But what I want and what Spare Key needs right now are not exactly on the same page.
What Spare Key needs is your financial support. We spent 2020 fighting the good fight and emerged from a world scarred by a global pandemic ready to keep fighting in 2021.
We are fighting because we know that the work we started three years ago to create a technology platform to aid families facing a medical crisis avoid adding a financial crisis to their lives is worth every minute of the fight – no matter how hard and difficult and overwhelming it can seem at times.
That we are now able to help families anywhere in the country truly is about bringing Hope Across America. It’s now our DNA. Our raison d’etre. The simple purpose for our existence.
I hope you will join us on Saturday, February 27th at 7:00 p.m. CST. It will be less than an hour of your time. An hour of your time where you can learn more about Spare Key – who we serve – why we serve – and a lot of everything in between.
Abby, Sarah, Alexia, Kristi and Ashley have worked hard to put this program together and the care and attention to detail will show. So, too, will the power of the purpose behind the mission of our Help Me Bounce platform.
I promise you that when it’s done it will be the best hour you spent in front of a screen this week and maybe even this month.
Put on your slippers. Grab your favorite beverage. Make sure you have your wallet and a credit card and a box of Kleenex.
Most of all, help us bring Hope Across America to families across America.