The term “charity event” is often associated with the idea of elegantly dressed women and men in tuxedos mingling about in a fancy room with stemmed glasses and large donations for a good cause. At the 28th Annual Ultimate Summertime Party, charity was beautifully wrapped in a package appealing and available to all New Yorkers.
Thursday, July 26 lines formed outside the entrance to Union Square’s Bowlmor Lanes for the new country club celebrating its opening on the top floors. Greenwich Village Country Club hosted this year’s National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s summertime benefit, providing a wealth of exciting events and delicious hors d’oeurves in addition to a three hour open bar. In other words, National MS Society and News Corporation, the presenters of the event, sure know how to throw a party for charity.
Nothing about the Ultimate Summertime Party experience was normal. No cheap champagne or choices between only house wine or low grade brews. The two story, multi-room venue with multiple bars featured a variety of quality drinks including Barefoot Pink moscato, Bulldog shots, Angry Orchard cider, Jagermeister and Jagermeister honey liquor and plenty more options from a full, open bar on each floor.
The MS event hors d’oeuvres were impressive as well. The Ultimate Summertime Party excelled here with a smorgasbord of treats from the likes of Katz’s Deli, The Palm, Ciao Bella, Feile, Emeche Cupcakes and many, many more. With the wide variety of caterers, party-goers were privy to an assortment of snacks from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to sliders to cheese trays, homemade cotton candy and a long list of other goodies.
Though the Ultimate Summertime Party presenters took great care to ensure the audience was well-fed and not thirsty, the purpose for the celebration did not take the backseat. Along with the fun activities; bowling, putt-putt golf, shuffleboard, beer pong and the like; the party’s highlight was the silent auction for high-priced memorabilia, jewelry, vacation packages and other valuable merchandise. Starting as low as around $50 for smaller jewelry and reaching into the tens of thousands for items such as a vacation package to Italy, each item was auctioned off to the highest bidder for the benefit of the National MS Society.
In addition to the silent auction, a collection of gift baskets were displayed at the door as part of a raffle, benefits of which were also for those with MS. These baskets were loaded with an array of valuable, themed party favors, such as the Jagermeister basket featuring a large bottle of Jager as well as the newer Jagermeister honey liquor, undoubtedly worth at least $50. Quality beauty products made appearances in a few of the baskets as well. With such elegant gift baskets, not to mention the cause for the raffle, the $10 price per ticket was worth every penny.
Various small donation tables were set up around the club as well to encourage giving of almost any amount to the MS foundation. Complete with plenty of information, these tables, referred to as “Good Deed Pop Up Shops” advertised what many people often wonder when donating to charity: where the money goes. Attendees were even encouraged to donate based on the intended use of the money by patients, and goals ranged from doctor’s visits to motorized wheelchairs to home care systems.
Overall, the 28th Annual Ultimate Summertime Party was an experience not soon forgotten, and from the size of the crowd and amount of alcohol present, it’s likely that the presenters raised quite a bit of money toward the quality of life improvement for MS patients. Mission: accomplished.