In July of this year, the Well Aware team made the very difficult decision to make the big shift to a virtual event. Held every year in December, the Well Aware Holiday Gala is always the party of the year (sure, we’re biased, but we hear it a lot). What makes our events so special is the vibrant and compassionate community that attends, as well as the palpable love and passion in the room every year. We just weren’t sure we could replicate that.
A Night of Inspiring Clean Water Impact at the Winter Waterland Virtual Gala
But, as I type this, only four days after the 2020 Winter Waterland Virtual Gala, I can tell you - I think we did! Yes, we exceeded our goal for the evening. As a matter of fact, we exceeded all fundraising ever done at one of our December events. I still almost can’t believe it, but we did it. In addition to that, there was still so much feeling and warmth coming from our guests and out of the screen. It was a beautiful and overwhelming display of compassion for and commitment to this cause.
I think the success of the evening can be largely attributed to how our clean water work really does speak for itself. Building water systems in rural, developing regions that last for decades is no small task. But, we get it done. And, when we say that all of our water projects - deep boreholes and rainwater systems - are still functioning across 70 communities and over 11 years… well, that’s quite a feat, and people know that.
We also have the best supporters! Our friends from all over the world tuned in that night. We were able to greet guests from New York, Kenya, California, Australia, Florida, Israel, Illinois, England, Iowa… and the list goes on. There were almost 400 households tuned in at the event’s peak, and so many of you interacted with us, bid on auction items, and posted to your social channels to help us raise the funds we need to provide lasting clean water to more than 14,000 people. In just one night. Just one night - live from Austin, Texas - we set in motion the transformation we get to make for that many people.
The evening couldn’t have happened without the people who put it all together. The Well Aware team is unlike any other I’ve ever had the privilege of working alongside. They each feel this cause to their cores, but they are focused and realistic. They embody and exude Well Aware’s values, and it’s apparent in what they produce every time. I’m so intensely proud of each and every one of them.
From those remarkable team members and me, and from the communities whose lives you changed that night - thank you. You are all heroes.