If you’ve been to A Date 2 Remember, you know that it’s a one of a kind event in Columbus. My D2R experience the last two years includes dressing up in the middle of frigid Central Ohio winter, meeting up beforehand with friends for dinner in the Columbus Arena District, posing like a rock star in the paparazzi photo area, goofing around in the photo booth, checking out some great food samples, and taking in the rock ’em sock ’em modern fashion show and auction. Those who have more energy than me one upped by attending the official after party, but I expect to change that on February 23.
This year, I’ve joined the Host Committee and what I’ve really come to understand is that after all of CYP CLUB’s pre-event promotion and activities, ticket sales, event night meeting and mingling, camera flashes, and final Lifestyle Communities Pavilion cleanup, there are thousands of dollars to present to charity. Last year, its milestone fifth fundraiser, A Date 2 Remember donated $40,000 in proceeds to two local non-profit organizations. A Date 2 Remember has a lot of sizzle – but there is definitely a whole lot of substance behind all of that style.
D2R ’13 is the sixth time that CYP CLUB volunteers are pouring hours of organization effort into this charity fundraiser. The event now has some name branding in the Columbus young professionals circles and has garnered some community recognition as well. But let’s take a look back at the event’s origins and progress to gain a firm understanding of how it’s grown – and how much more impact it can deliver.
In 2007, A Date 2 Remember launched at The Vault, and around 300 attended. CYP CLUB presented $15,000 that year to The Miracle League and United Cerebral Palsy of Central Ohio. Small but solid start. After a year off in 2008, A Date 2 Remember returned and raised more than $20,000 for A Kid Again and Junior Achievement of Central Ohio in 2009. Columbus CEO Magazine named D2R “2nd Best Charity Event” in just its second try. Then the event really blasted off.
A Date 2 Remember in the early years
Nearly 700 attended D2R ’10 which netted $30,000 for A Kid Again and Capital Area Humane Society. This time, D2R earned the magazine’s top community charity event crown. Demand prompted CYP CLUB president Derek Grosso to transfer the event from the previous smaller scale Vault and former Bar of Modern Art (BoMA) locations to LC Pavilion, which is behind only Nationwide Arena and Schottenstein Center in venue size and stature in the area. In 2011, its first year at The LC, D2R drew close to 1,000 attendees and collected $40,000 to benefit A Kid Again and Flying Horse Farms. D2R matched that fundraising total in ’12 for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Flying Horse Farms.
This year, D2R is staying put at LC Pavilion – but the actual event location is expanding to include the A&R Music Bar right next door. You can attend the fashion show and auction inside the main Pavilion hall – but if you want to step out briefly, you can head over to A&R for a drink with some friends. Don’t worry about missing any of the show – it will be up on closed circuit TV.
And there is definitely more emphasis on “The Show.” The Host Committee has screened date participant candidates for extra special talents. There will be more music and stage show presence. We’re dialing up the fashion with some help from local industry experts. And at the end of the night, 100% of proceeds are slated for donation to City Year Columbus and United Way of Central Ohio.
A Date 2 Remember keeps finding ways to get bigger and better. How big can this thing get? It’s up to you and me to decide.