For more than a decade, Springfield Business Journal has presented annual awards, starting off in 1999 with our inaugural class of 40 Under 40, recognizing up-and-comers younger than 40 for their professional and civic accomplishments. Now, we’re adding to that event with a charitable component.
Our individual honors – 40 Under 40, Most Influential Women and Men of the Year – bring together groups of people known for making positive differences in business and in the community. Several years ago, we decided to capture that energy and use it to help others, teaming up with local nonprofit Women in Need for a charitable silent auction at the Most Influential Women luncheon each year. That partnership has raised thousands of dollars each year for the nonprofit, which provides one-time assistance to working women so they can stay in the work force.
In 2011, with our inaugural Men of the Year event, we decided straight out of the gate to have a charitable component, and we teamed up with the Good Samaritan Boys Ranch for live and silent auctions that raised roughly $5,000 for the ranch, which provides residential care for boys who have been abandoned, abused or neglected.
This year, we decided to bring that charitable component to our original event, 40 Under 40. We’re teaming up with Ozarks Food Harvest, and at our May 17 40 Under 40 event, there will be a raffle to raise money for the fight against hunger.
We’re hoping that the honorees of this year’s class of 40 Under 40, and the people who turn out to celebrate their accomplishments, will throw their support behind OFH at our event. Individual raffle tickets will cost $5 apiece at the event. That may not sound like much, but did you know that Ozarks Food Harvest can use a $5 donation to buy 45 pounds of food?
SBJ and Ozarks Food Harvest have teamed up to gather three fun prize packages that will be raffled to lucky winners at the event. Up for grabs are:
• a Dozen Dates package, featuring dinner certificates at area restaurants such as Fire & Ice, Hemingway’s and Qdoba;
• an overnight date package, including a night’s stay at the Doubletree and dinner;
• a Branson getaway, with tickets to Dixie Stampede.
At $5 a ticket, winning any of those packages seems like a pretty good deal. Those who buy eight raffle tickets for $40 apiece will get some fun perks, namely access to what’s informally being called the “bling bar” and mention by name in a Thank You ad that will be published in SBJ after the event.
Even those participants whose tickets aren’t drawn can benefit from knowing that their donations mean that fewer people in the Ozarks will go hungry.
Come out and join us on May 17. Tickets to the 40 Under 40 event are available at sbj.net/4040. Come out for a night of fun, and while you’re at it, help those in need.