To put it simply, raiseRED 2020 was an overwhelming success. The event began on Friday February 27th at 6 PM and concluded Saturday at noon, but in reality raiseRED is a yearlong phenomenon. My goal in this blog post is to recap to you how we spent 18 hours together celebrating the yearlong efforts of the student body.
RaiseRED 2020 took place in the Student Activities Center on UofL’s campus. Members of the Executive Board and raiseRED Committee started arriving as early as noon on that Friday. Decorations were hung, the stage was set, and the excitement was beginning to build. As students began to arrive, the reality set in that everything was about to begin, and a year of hard work was finally going to pay off. The event started promptly at 6 PM with Opening Ceremonies. This hour was filled with introductions and rules but also, more exciting speakers such as Spencer Moorman and Dr. Ashok Raj. After Opening Ceremonies were over, Color Teams began their first rotation throughout the night. During these rotations, two or three areas are used for events and students rotate through them on a predetermined schedule. For example, the first rotation consisted of learning the line dance, dinner, and a great story from the Vanover family who was advocating for Be the Match. Students spent approximately 30 minutes in each area before moving to the next.
Later in the evening we transitioned to our first theme hour. For this hour we partnered with the University of Louisville’s athletic department, one of our great sponsors, for all sorts of sporting events from basketball to dodgeball and UofL sports trivia. As the night continued, our friends at the Student Activity Board hosted their hour titled “Be a Kid Again” where we had inflatables and a Silent Disco. Afterwards, the late-night RAVE was held in the ballroom and a great local DJ performed!
As night turned to day, we took the time to honor our highest fundraisers of the event. The Comma Club consisted of the students who raised over $1000 for raiseRED. These students were met with a $500 match from our generous sponsors bringing all their totals to $1500. These students were entitled to numerous incentives throughout the night but perhaps the most popular was a trip to the natatorium to cool off and swim for an hour.
As the 18 hours began to wind down, raiseRED moved to a more reflective portion of the event. Angel Hour honors those participants who have lost a loved one to cancer or a blood disease, or currently have a loved one with an ongoing battle with cancer or a blood disease. The overwhelming support of students to their peers was really something special to see during this part of the event. It personally was one of my favorite parts of raiseRED. After Angel Hour, the mood changes significantly! The Kosair’s Kid Talent Show brings out many laughs and cheers. During this time, members of our Cardinal Crew program have the opportunity to get on stage and show the entire raiseRED population their finest talent. If you didn’t witness myself, Audrey Nethery, and Taryn Kerley sing Frozen 2 songs last year you really missed out!
Lastly, raiseRED 2020 concluded with our Community Celebration. This part of the event is always incredibly exciting (and slightly stressful). During this time, students hear from incredible speakers such as President Neeli Bendapudi and student Patrick McSweeney, while also making their final fundraising pushes to attempt to elevate our total fundraising number as high as they can. The entire Louisville community is invited to stop by, participate in our silent auction, and join us for this exciting time. All the dancers prepared for our final reveal as the clock gets closer to noon. The entire line dance is performed to signal that the total is about to be revealed. This year we were fortunate to raise up a total of $690,921.70, the highest total in raiseRED history. This number is a testament to the hard work of the student body at UofL and I could not be prouder of those who participated.
Thank you all for the opportunity to recap last year’s event. I hope I was able to give you a taste of raiseRED and why it is special to so many people. I encourage everyone to get involved this year in any way they can; you won’t regret it!
2019-2020 Programming Director