charity: water's 7th Annual charity: ball

December 2012. The 69th Regiment Armory, New York, NY

On Monday, December 10th, 2012, charity: water hosted their 7th annual charity: ball gala at the 69th Regiment Armory in NYC. Nearly 2,000 guests joined charity: water Founder Scott Harrison and host Seth Meyers, of Saturday Night Live, to help raise over $3 million in a single night. To produce this fast-growing, star-studded event, charity: water brought Empire Entertainment onboard. charity: water has made a name for themselves by always doing things differently and, from the beginning of the planning process, charity: water and Empire set out to innovate the event in order to bring it to the next level. Through months of creative discussions and design meetings, this objective was achieved by utilizing an in-the-round stage, a circular Waterwalk, an innovative live pledge auction experience, dimensionalized water project installations, and RFID wristbands for guests to streamline check-in and pledges. The Waterwalk, a constant at every charity: ball, was redesigned this year to frame the circular stage in the middle of the room. Here guests have the chance to experience first hand a mere fraction of the daily walk that people in developing countries journey to bring water home to their families. Thanks to the generous support of W Hotels and TOMs, every person who walked raised an additional $500. 100% of the money raised from the Waterwalk will fund water projects in India. When complete, these projects will give 19,400 people clean water. The live auction has also been an annual feature of the event, but this year it was re-imagined to be more inclusive, enabling more guests to donate starting at lower, more affordable levels. charity: water asked guests to pledge by moving through a series of bid zones surrounding the stage where their RFID bracelets registered successively higher bids. The auction began with guests bidding at just $200 with opportunities to move up to levels of up to $100,000. It worked, and in a short 25 minutes, charity: water had raised more than $800,000 in pledges from more than 300 people while each bidder’s name appeared on monumental projection screens along with the rising total. Throughout the evening, guests were free to explore a series of innovative installations celebrating charity: water’s work. Guests were invited to pump water at a working well that displayed live data on the water pressure; interact with a fundraiser canopy that was built to showcase hundreds of people from around the globe who have campaigned for charity: water; purchase yellow helium balloons to help fill a giant, inverted Jerry Can (charity; water’s logo); wander an explorable maze of blue pipes highlighting charity: water's recent focus on gravity-fed well systems in Rwanda; and examine charity: water's drilling rig- Yellow Thunder, which was reconstructed inside the venue with large prints and a live twitter feed sharing the rig’s history. With over $3 million raised at the event, charity: ball's goal of taking the annual gala to the next level was reached both in terms of money raised and also by re-imagining the guest experience of this talk-of-the-season event. Empire is proud to partner with charity: water to deliver this one-of-a-kind event, and congratulates them in their success both as an action-oriented charity and an innovative leader in fundraising. To learn more about their work and get involved please visit:

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