Spotlight on: YVC of Iron County
April showers bring May flowers and the May YVC Spotlight! Summer is almost here, school is winding down, and YVCs across North America are gearing up for this year’s Summer of Service. But before we get to summer we’re going to take a quick tour of YVC of Iron County in Cedar City, Utah.
YVC of Iron County is one of the newest members of the YVC network and already they are making waves. In addition to running a strong program, Iron County just hosted a very successful YVC Gala fundraiser raising over $5,000! Way to go Iron County!
Program Director Cindy Rose and Youth Volunteer Kaylin Shelley will take us on a quick tour of their phenomenal program.
Cindy, can you tell us about your recent fundraising event?
YVC of Iron County operates heavily on donations throughout the year. This was getting old, so a decision was made to do our Inaugural YVC Gala to raise additional funds and awareness for our program. The gala was a sit-down dinner that was catered by one of our best restaurants in town, and they gave us an excellent deal on the cost of the meal. As a service project we made bow ties to be given out at the gala to donors. That was a huge hit and almost everyone was wearing a bow tie by the end of the gala.
The Youth Volunteers were able to shadow the servers: filling glasses, serving and clearing dinner and dessert and making an awesome impression. We also had background music from Southern Utah University, who donated their time to us. We had a silent auction in which we received amazing items for. Some of those included a weekend in Las Vegas, a 2 night stay at Lake Powell with the use of a speedboat for a day, tickets to local attractions, free dinners, hair and nail packages, etc.
For the finale our YVC volunteers were auctioned off to the highest bidder for the month of June, July and August and then had a special request to bid for May also. The gala event center was donated and all of our printing was donated. The event was a huge success – we profited just over $5,200!!! I feel so LUCKY with this gala as we really had no expenses other than postage and dinner. Everything else was donated to us!
Kaylin, what was the best part of your fundraiser event?
Honestly, my favorite part of the gala was seeing all of our volunteers come together for that one night to represent YVC. The reason I loved that so much is because seeing all those youth participating in something outside of themselves just gives me so much hope, and I just hope that they will be able to know how much they (and all Youth Volunteers) inspire me. I also loved meeting the founder again (he is always fun and spunky) and making our own cakes, as a YVC, to auction off. And, of course, it was fun!
Cindy, what advice can you give to other YVC programs and Program Directors who want to run a fundraiser event?
This was a lot of work. I came up with the idea in September and worked on it until the night the gala was over, which was March 20th. It took a lot of time to request donations, making all the arrangements, etc. My biggest concern was the mailing list because we have never done anything like this. We were more successful with asking guests in person and making follow-up phone calls than with the invitations that were mailed out. One BIG suggestion that we will do next time is to include a little note about who and what YVC is. After mailing the invitations I realized that a lot of those people don’t know who we are. I think that would have made a difference.
I did have a committee (two parents and one community member) that was a great help, very knowledgeable in galas and so much support in our gala! I would highly recommend a committee. I think setting goals for yourself is a good idea also. My goal was to have 100 people at the event (we had just under that) and I wanted to raise $5,000. Those figures kept me very focused. I invited David Battey to attend our gala and be our keynote speaker – it was awesome having him here, getting to see my YVC kids in action and just being a part of this first time event! And whatever you do, don’t ever get discouraged – there is always tomorrow to pick up where you leave off!
Cindy, what is your favorite part of being a Program Director?
THE KIDS!!! I love my YVC volunteers – working with them, watching them grow in their community, their giving, their thoughts, and their care. This is just such an amazing group of kids and I enjoy working side by side with them as we paint ladies’ finger nails, shoveling horse manure, picking up trash, helping with community events, etc. – it is just fun to be a part of their lives. And when they sit and talk with me about themselves and some of their trials in life, I feel so proud of them and so blessed that they confide in me. I don’t think I could be in a better place right now, which I owe to my YVC kids!
Kaylin, what is your favorite YVC project?
First off, the reason I love to help people is because people have helped me in my times of need in the past, and I hope to be able to do that through all of the projects I do. So in my favorite project we collected enough food for twenty whole Thanksgiving dinners for different sized families. These dinners were then distributed to families in the community who were in need. I was able to deliver them myself to these families and the responses from most of the families were priceless and reminded me of why I volunteer. Sometimes we, as volunteers, don’t get to see the immediate effects of our help, but I know that the effect that we have as an organization is HUGE! I hope people get an opportunity to see that someday.
Thanks Cindy and Kaylin! To find out more about YVC of Iron County and their fundraiser check out check out this link: here
Don’t miss a single story of youth changing the world! Sign up for our monthly newsletter here: