The Empower Events Team Experience
It’s been an honor and a privilege to work with a variety of organizations over the past 28 years. The following is information about representative events that our Empower team members were instrumental in the fundraising and event coordination.
The country’s most successful literacy fundraiser is the Barbara Bush Foundation’s annual Houston fundraiser, A Celebration of Reading that has raised over to $2 million annually for almost all of the event’s 24-year history with almost 2,000 guests in attendance every year. The 2009 Celebration of Reading was recognized as “Outstanding Fundraising Program” by the Houston Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Due to the success of the Houston Celebration of Reading, our team was engaged to start the same event in Dallas and Maryland.
Houston Symphony has been a client for several years starting with their Centennial Ball in 2014. The Ball was held in Jones Hall and required the complete transformation from theater style seating for the program to dinner seating covering the theater seats for dinner and dancing. With 600 attendees the Ball raised over $2.6 million. The Centennial Ball was recognized as “Outstanding Fundraising Program” by the Houston Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2014. Empower Events helped manage this Ball and several major Symphony events since then including Opening Night Concert and Galas and the Wine Dinners.
The Lone Star Flight Museum hosted its first Gala in several years in 2016 in a private airplane hangar at Hobby Airport. As event manager, Empower Events coordinated all aspects of the event including: marketing, invitations, printed materials, program development, vendor management, budget oversight, fundraising, décor, and guest seating. Our firm was also engaged in the 2017 Gala that raised over $1 million and was hosted in the new Museum facility prior to the public opening and we were on the team for the 2018 Gala.
The Anti-Defamation League of Houston engaged Empower to help manage their Centennial concert event. “Houston in Concert Against Hate” took place in November 2013 and raised just over $1 million with over 2,000 guests enjoying an inspirational evening honoring prominent Houston community leaders. The event was a collaborative effort with the Houston Symphony.
In 2008, we were engaged to raise funds for ship enhancements for the USS George H. W. Bush CVN 77 Aircraft Carrier. The last of the Nimitz class aircraft carriers was commissioned in January 2009 and our team helped raise over $3.8 million for ship enhancements such as a library/chapel, technology center, and museum/tribute room to former President Bush. The Commissioning events included more than 10,000 guests and a weekend full of events. We were also engaged to help with the hospitality, donor management, and seating for the events.
One of the largest events in Houston’s history was “41@80 A Birthday Salute to our 41st President George H. W. Bush” held in June 2004. This event was the culmination of an 18-month endowment campaign that raised over $56 million, with over $6 million raised from the event weekend. The endowment funds supported three of President Bush’s favorite charities: M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation, and the Points of Light Foundation. The event-filled weekend was capitalized with a gala birthday celebration and concert at Minute Maid Park for 5,600 people. With the campaign leadership, we assisted in the development of the plans and logistics for the nine events during the weekend. These events included the main celebration, VIP reception, golf tournament, mural dedication, luncheon, train trip to College Station, and the BBQ with a parachute jump. We were responsible for fundraising, donor management, hospitality, transportation, printed materials, seating/ticketing, volunteers, budget management, and marketing.
In 2006, Scott and White Hospital honored former Houston Astros owner, Drayton McLane with the Lifetime of Leadership Award. This was the first major fundraiser for the renowned Temple, Texas hospital. The evening raised over $2.3 million. We were engaged to manage the fundraising process and event details.
The first-ever produced “Opening Ceremonies” style event for Super Bowl week took place in Houston in 2004. Called “A Houston Salute to the Super Bowl XXXVIII”. The Salute was hosted by CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz and former President George Bush. The gala event honored 38 Houston sports legends and the participating Super Bowl teams. The event gathered together such honorees as Earl Campbell, Clyde Drexler, Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, Mary Lou Retton and many more to the spectacular enjoyment of the crowd of 6,000 attendees. The event raised over $1 million for NFL charities. Our team managed the sponsor solicitation, committee engagement, selection of legends process, printed materials, seating/ticketing, donor management, and volunteers.
The M. D. Anderson Cancer Center’s 60th Anniversary Celebration in November 2001 brought in over $10.2 million. The event was held on the floor of Minute Maid Park with 1,700 guests enjoying a star-studded evening of entertainment. We were responsible for the fundraising, leadership coordination, donor management, hotel hospitality, seating/ticketing, and volunteers.
The Three Amigos Golf Classic, a tournament hosted by PGA tour professionals Fred Couples, Blaine McCallister, and CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz, evolved from an average golf charity event to a two-day tournament that attracted honorees such as Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. For three years in a row, the event raised over $700,000 with participants from all over the world. Our team served as principal fundraisers and event managers.
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s “Milestones and Miracles” celebration of the 75th birthday of former President George Bush on June 10, 1999 was a three-day celebration which brought guests in from around the world. With more than 3,000 guests attending over $10 million was raised which at the time was the most successful single, non-profit fundraising event in the country. Members of our team were responsible for leadership recruitment, fundraising, donor management, transportation, hotel hospitality, seating/ticketing, invitations, a train trip to College Station, and ticketing for the BBQ and parachute jump.