Last Friday night was sizzling at the Portland Art Museum, as supporters gathered to celebrate Basic Rights Oregon at their annual party. The theme, IGNITE, certainly got the party fired up, and the BA360 team was thrilled to throw on our dapper suits and sassy cocktail frocks to join the fun—which all told, raised more than $260,000 in support of LGBT rights!
Kate Kendall praising the hard work of BRO during dinner at IGNITE.
This year actually involved two events in one at the Museum’s Mark Building, directed by Samantha Swaim—a move that proved quite popular with the over 900 guests. The night began downstairs in the sunken ballroom with dinner by Vibrant Table, a rousing speech by Kate Kendall, the Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and of course, an exciting live auction with packages that got the room buzzing. Think: an evening with Angels in America actor Wade McCollum; a visit to the Robert Reynolds Chefs Studio; getaways to Hawaii, San Francisco, and Italy; and a workout with rugby star Ben Cohen, to name a few.
BA360’s Johnna Wells on fire during the live auction!
They also took the time to pause and watch a new video to focus on a key goal of the night: to raise enough funds to run the Marriage Matters ads on statewide TV for another week. The new video showcased how minds—and hearts—can be changed to support the right to marry for all:
Meanwhile, upstairs in the Kridel Grand Ballroom, the spark for an epic dance party was getting ready to BLOW. UP. Guests stepped into the photo booth to answer the question, “What ignites you?” and then headed into the red-drenched ballroom with an illuminated bar front and center.
Guests answered the question with what matters most to them.
But even as the party heated up, the giving didn’t end, thanks to a new text-to-donate program powered by Qtego Auction. It was incredible to see the fundraising total rise exponentially on the big screens! And even as DJ Dan-o-mite and DJ Lunchlady got people to bust a move, they could still keep giving throughout the night in the spirit of celebration. It’s a promising technology that we’re excited to see in action.
Qtego-powered text-to-give gets started.
All in all, it was an event that tried new things and found that to be a roaring success! Want to see more photos of all the fun? Check out the BRO event’s Facebook page. (Thanks to Amaren Colosi, Jonny Schultz, and Rosemary Ragusa who photographed the event.)