The Athletic Scholarship Endowment Dinner was held on January 26 at the McCamish Pavilion. Barb Dockweiler, ECN member and associate director of development and stewardship at Georgia Tech Athletics, gives us some insight into her team's hits, challenges, and successes while planning the event.
What was the goal of the event?
Primarily to steward or thank the endowment donors and give them a chance to meet and share dinner with the student-athlete assigned to their named scholarship. The event also gives A-T a chance to educate the student-athletes with a glimpse into the funding of their scholarship and gives the student-athlete an opportunity to thank their donor/donors in person, as well. For the program this year, Brandon Gaudin was emcee and we had two donor speakers who provided an example and inspiration to others. Four student-athletes briefly shared their experiences while being here at Tech. Our donors continue to say they enjoy so much getting to know more about our students. Athletic Director Mike Bobinski made the closing remarks after giving a brief overview of the Athletic Endowment Program.
Any hits or misses?
The reception, being in Callaway Club first, was a great space, and then taking the guests down to Cremins Court for the dinner/program created an impressive stir. Visual was fantastic! We had a photographer there to take pictures of the donors with their athletes, and this is another hit. Our guests really loved the venue, and we received much positive feedback about the evening event.
What about challenges?
Timeline for everything is key. Protective flooring must be put down on the court for the event, thus an additional cost. Plus, additional rental items such as tables and chairs must be delivered after the floor is completed. Serving the plated meal for more than 350 guests was a challenge, as well. The kitchen is not close to the court where we served dinner. For the future, we discussed more stations around the floor to serve and add more servers. I would also suggest a tasting from your caterer for a large event. Parking can be challenging at McCamish depending on the day of the week. Also, additional audio-visual is needed, which can increase costs.
What was successful?
Everything was set up on time by all vendors involved so we could put the finishing touches on the tables (place cards, programs, etc.). This was such a huge help. Working with the McCamish event operations staff throughout was great; they were more than helpful! Overall, we received many positive comments, calls, and emails. This is our eighth annual event, and we had our largest attendance at more than 350.