Fall Fiesta is always a night to remember, but this year’s was extra memorable…it was our first ever fully virtual event! And although we were thousands of miles apart—from one side of the globe to the other—everyone still came together to celebrate, raise funds for a cause near and dear to our hearts, and connect with friends and family we haven’t seen in a while.
With so many new faces, we had a record-breaking attendance and raised an incredible amount to help keep Guatemalan students in school—which is so important, especially during the pandemic.
We know what you’re thinking now. How much did we actually raise last Saturday night? Well, you’ll just have to keep reading to find out! Come along with us as we remember the top six highlights from Fall Fiesta at Home and reveal our grand total for the evening.
6. We Went Global
A behind the scenes shot from our filming in Guatemala.
With our first virtual event came the opportunity to reach miles and miles further than we could’ve ever imagined. This year, we connected with friends from Canada, Thailand, Ireland, the UK, the Cayman Islands, Guatemala, and at least 25 states in the US, all from the comfort and safety of our own homes. And did we mention that this was our first completely bilingual event too? For the first time ever, our whole team in Guatemala was able to join in on the fun and we were so happy to see all of their faces again!
5. You Online Shopped (one of our favorite quarantine pastimes)
Even though we couldn’t gather around the wine ring toss in Music Hall this year, we still had a blast with our online games and silent auction! Players from around the globe tested their luck by entering our split-the-pot raffle or choosing one of our mystery gifts. They even bid on silent auction packages ranging from handmade Guatemalan items to luxury trips to virtual meet and greets with some pretty awesome people like Ryan Van Duzer or Chuck and Josh from the Stuff You Should Know podcast (I mean who hasn’t started listening to podcasts during quarantine?).
4. Batman Returned
And our emcee for the night was…Batman! Or as some of you may know him as, Chris Bailey!
Backstory on this one, Chris used to dress up as Batman to deliver textbooks and supplies to our schools in Guatemala on tour. He’s a real-life superhero in our eyes so Chris was the perfect person to guide us through the night!
3. Estefana Stole Our Hearts
Throughout the night, we met Estefana and heard her incredible story. On the verge of dropping out after middle school, Estefana applied for a Rise Youth Development Program scholarship. After being accepted into the program, she went on to not only graduate high school, but to attend college too! We also got to meet her Rise sponsors, Dick and Helen, and see first-hand the special bond they have with Estefana. Chris Bailey was right, we’re not crying, you’re crying!
2. Attendance Records Were Broken
Over 1,000 people tuned in via YouTube and Facebook to watch the livestream event. That’s over double what we’ve ever had at any in-person Fall Fiesta event in history!
1. All to Help Break the Cycle of Poverty in Guatemala
Fall Fiesta may have looked a little different this year, but the generosity you all had for the children in Guatemala never wavered. Even from your couches, you managed to come together, connect with one another, and rally for a mission we’ve all come to know and love: breaking the cycle of poverty in Guatemala through education.
We are pleased to announce that by the end of our first Fall Fiesta at Home, YOU had raised a grand total of…
That’s absolutely amazing! Your support will allow us to continue growing our four crucial educational programs: Rise, Spark, Textbooks, and Computers. We can’t thank you enough for tuning in and making our first ever Fall Fiesta at Home a huge success…but we’ll let Joe give it a try.