LobsterGhost Virtual Gala Raises over $134,000 for Local Charities and International Initiatives to Create a World of Lasting Change
Rotary International is a worldwide service organization with over 35,000 clubs and 1.2 million members. Their members are neighbors, leaders, friends, and problem-solvers who work together to create lasting change in communities around the world. Their missions focus on fighting disease, promoting peace, providing clean water, supporting education, growing local economies, and many other charitable initiatives.
This year, Auction Frogs supported District 5400, comprised of 43 clubs of 5 to 100 members each, to host and promote their virtual gala. District 5400 is focused on “making a profound difference right here, right now.” All members give their time, energy, and talents to make the world around them a better place. Through annual fundraisers and charitable outreach, Rotary Clubs are positively impacting their communities.
2020 would have been their 11th annual Lobsterfest. In prior years this event was a casual gala and live auction fundraiser. The pandemic changed those plans and District 5400 decided to take things online with a Virtual Event. To reflect the transition, they dubbed the event “LobsterGhost.” The heart of the previous years was still there, but the “fest” was at the discretion of online attendees.
There were 19 clubs in the district participating in the “LobsterGhost” event, from Pocatello to the Western Treasure Valley. Most of these clubs have a small website and social media presence with the largest, the Club of Boise Sunrise, acting as lead. The virtual gala was promoted across these platforms, and the clubs saw an impressive live attendance.
At the close of the LobsterGhost event and auction, donations and purchases totaled over $134,000. The main beneficiary of this year’s fundraiser was the Hope House — an orphanage near Marsing, Idaho. The clubs also support Everyday Leadership and a local grant program. The group tries to fund smaller charities that are often overlooked by larger charitable organizations. Much of their community service initiatives involve a personal commitment of time and talent, such as taking Hope House kids on rafting trips, participating in Rake up Boise, and being guest speaks at Everyday Leadership.
Most of the funds raised are used locally (as noted above), but there are also international projects supported by the clubs. Semilla Nueva is providing fortified corn seed to Guatemala. Project Amigo assists Mexican kids with school expenses. And polio eradication has been a major focus of Rotary International with the Gates Foundation for over 30 years.
The District 5400 planning team was excited about the online auction format for fundraising for their partnering Rotary clubs. Their online auction with Auction Frogs began October 14th and ran through October 25th. Their bidding window is closed, but if you would like to make a donation to your Rotary club or the Hope House, they are always accepting donations. You can learn more about their clubs at Rotary5400.org.