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2010 RWU PRSSA Induction Gala

April 22, 2010

The time is winding down! This Saturday is our fourth annual PRSSA Induction Gala at the Hotel Viking in Newport. This year we chose the Newport Public Schools Fine Arts and Music Program to raise money and donate to. The gala starts at 5:30 p.m. for cocktails and dinner is at 7:00 p.m. There is a silent auction with items including a Boston Bruins signed hockey stick, an all inclusive trip for two to Antigua, a helicopter ride, a week in Wine Country (Sonoma Valley), and much more!

Thought the event starts at 5:30 p.m. the preparations have been in the works since the beginning of the fall semester. Our chapter presented  on our gala at the 2009 PRSSA National Conference in San Diego, CA (Watch the presentation here there are 4 parts! We are the only chapter that currently does a gala, and it is getting bigger and better every year! For those other chapters that are looking to do a similar event here are some guidelines!

1. Start Early! Nothing is worse than crunch time last minute before your event and things are still not in line!

2. Pick a charity. Last year we did the Fisher House in Rhode Island, a place where veterns of war can recover when they come home and our injured. This year we chose the Newport Schools Fine Arts and Music Programs because many schools in the nation are cutting funds for such programs and we wanted to make sure every child had a chance to express themselves! When picking a charity, keep it local!

3. Get your venue early. Since our event is always in the Spring on a weekend, venues fill up quicky. We have our yearly gala at the Hotel Viking in Newport. They have a room for us and our things, as well as a large banquet room down stairs with ample room for tables, silent auction items, and people!

4. Make a donation packet. A packet needs to be made that explains your charity and cause. So when you go out to get donations your have materials to show the legitimacy of the gala. Here is our donation letter: 2010 Donation Form (PRSSA) Here is an example of our donation form,

and the donation amounts 2010 Donation Levels (PRSSA). These are all presented in a folder coordinating our color theme. We chose Purple, Magenta, and Gold, as they are playful, and also chose an acting mask to represent the charity. 

5. Get your contacts. You will need to contact the correct people early so they can help you. Usually the head of the charity is more than happy to assist you in your needs. 

6. Get you tickets printed. This can be done online for a very cheap price.

7. Get a guest speaker. Usually someone who knows about the charity or PR is good. Offer them a free night stay in a local hotel and dinner, try and stay away from paying the speaker if you do not have to.

8. Decorations. Make sure you price out and gather all necessary decorations at least a week ahead of time. You will need to make sure you have everything.

9. Create a program for the night. With the time table of what is happening and names for special thanks. We have our gala be an induction gala for new members as well so their names are usually in the program along with E-Board.

10. Print certificates and gather PRSSA pins to induct the new members.

11. Create a video or powerpoint of what your chapter has accomplished that year, parents love to see that!

12. Right before the event double check everything is set, decorations, tickets, food, the speaker, and the SEATING CHART. It looks much more professional to have a seating chart rather than people sitting anywhere they want.

13. Get to the venue early. Make sure you have ample time to set up. Our venus lets us have an extra room to get ready in right before.

14. Lastly have fun! You have worked all year towards this all year!

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