Event of the Week: Out of the Darkness Zumbathon


Charity Dance Event to Prevent Suicide

The tickets were really professional looking. I would definitely use the service again!

~Patricia Pupek, Event Organizer

On September 17th, the Western Massachusetts Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention held a Zumbathon to raise money for their annual “Out of the Darkness” Community Walk held in early October. Zumba is a combination of Latin dance, music, and exercise. It is meant to be fun and motivational and provide a great workout. A Zumbathon is a charity event hosted by a licensed instructor or instructors.

According to Patricia Pupek, the fundraiser was a great success with,  “about 100 people, which is great, considering we put this together pretty quickly. The best part of the event was the enthusiasm of the people who attended, and the fact that we were able to get the word out about our organization to so many people.”

Raising awareness is one of the main goals of the organization. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is “the only national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research and education, and reaching out to people with mood disorders and those affected by suicide,” The AFSP hoped to raise $50,000 at the Community Walk event to fund a number of local initiatives. The Zumbathon helped put them on their way.

For the Zumbathon event, the AFSP chose the General Admission Concert Ticket. The colorful ticket had plenty of room for event information plus space for two logos. The images chosen included a life preserver and the Zumba emblem. This provided attendees with visual imagery to accompany the event. The ticket featured a detachable stub as well as individual numbering.

How did Patricia and her team sell tickets to their event? “We sold tickets by word of mouth, posters in our workplace, we posted our event on Facebook, and we had four Zumba instructors who all work at various gyms and health clubs in Western Mass. They promoted the event at the health clubs, put up signs everywhere.

“Also, I gave out a stack of tickets to each AFSP volunteer in our chapter and asked them to sell as many as they could.  Some people bought a ticket even though they knew they could not attend the Zumbathon, but wanted to give a donation.”

The AFSP really covered its bases with this event using every available resource. From sharing the news one on one, creating printed resources such as posters to relying on “ambassadors” to spread the word on the organizations behalf and utilizing social media, as well as professionally printing custom tickets, the AFSP was able to reach individuals in many different ways. In turn, it was able to raise the profile of the organization and the cause.

What advice does Patricia have for those planning a similar event?

“Start planning and marketing the event a couple of months ahead.  Use Facebook- it works!”

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