SPEA’s Graduate Student Association (GSA)’s annual Soiree for Service is one of GSA’s most unique events of the year. Every year in January we partner with a local nonprofit organization in the Bloomington community to raise funds and awareness about the work of various nonprofits in the community. This year, we partnered with the nonprofit theater company Cardinal Stage Company to host the event for SPEA students, faculty, and staff. The event was also supported by the Kelley School of Business MBA Student Association.
Soiree for Service is a fun cocktail event, but a significant amount of planning took place to ensure a spot-free night of fun and dancing. In order to draw people to our event, we provide delicious food, lively music, and a comfortable space for a night of socializing for a great cause. Because Bloomington is famous for its many fabulous restaurants, we partnered with a SPEA favorite, Lennie’s, for all our catering needs, including lemon bars, baked cheese puffs, and chicken satay skewers.
Luckily for us, Cardinal Stage Company had the perfect space for the event: its own rehearsal space! The GSA team spent many hours decorating the place, stringing party lights, and planning out the space. We used set pieces from Cardinal’s holiday production of “Annie” to liven up the space. The space looked perfect, legitimately out of a theater set! Throughout the event SPEA students mingled with SPEA faculty and staff along with Cardinal Stage Company staff. Randy, the creative director, gave a brief presentation about the work of Cardinal and its future productions. The event lasted over three hours, and more than 100 attendees were present throughout the night. A total of $1,400 was raised for Cardinal Stage Company – all thanks to the support of SPEA!
In Bloomington, organizations like Cardinal Stage Company bring unique cultural events to our small town, with interesting productions like “Bachelorette” and a sing-along presentation of “Sound of Music.” Those who have never lived in Bloomington would be shocked to learn about the different events going on around town. As a part of GSA, I’m happy to promote great organizations like Cardinal to my fellow SPEA students and become more involved in the Bloomington community!