As you may know, we do a lot of virtual and hybrid events. After all, we are an event production company. But some have asked, “why don’t you put on your own events?”
It’s a fair point. We’re an event company that doesn’t run their own events? A bit like the cobbler’s children who have no shoes.
In 2024, that’s what we plan to do - not make shoes, run our own events.
I didn’t want to run a “typical” event though. Sure, we have those in the works. When deciding what event to put on, I wanted to accomplish a few goals.
- The event needs to be large enough that it requires our entire team… plus more people who are yet to be hired.
- The event should make a meaningful impact in our community.
- The event must be doable within a year.
That led me to post the following to my personal Twitter page, @agfinn:
If this post gets 100 likes, I will do a charity live stream for my local children's hospital.— Elias Puurunen (@agfinn) December 26, 2023
And that live stream?
Twenty-four hours of Dance Dance Revolution.
I'll stream and dance for an entire day.
All proceeds go to charity.
Who wants to see it?
It got the 100 likes, and then some. That’s when it hit me - Extra Life! We could run a 24-hour Extra Life live stream in November 2024, and raise money for our local children’s hospital!
So that became the plan. Run a 24-hour charity Dance Dance Revolution marathon to raise money for our local children’s hospital.
About Extra Life
Extra Life is a fundraising program of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals®. The Extra Life community fundraises year-round to Change Kids’ Health to Change the Future. Donations go to local member hospitals to fund critical life-saving treatments and healthcare services, along with innovative research, vital pediatric medical equipment, and child life services.
Deciding to put on an event as part of Extra Life has a personal connection. Back when I was a child, I was seen by doctors at the London Children’s Hospital.
They were the ones who helped my parents navigate my own condition of mild cerebral palsy.
But while they helped me, they also helped someone even more important… my child.
I’ll spare you the details for privacy, but my child had a complicated birth. The first few weeks of her life were filled with appointments and seeing specialists. Each appointment felt like an emotional rollercoaster - prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.
Many of those appointments were with the amazing folks at the Thames Valley Children’s Center (TVCC), who are part of the London Children’s Hospital.
Thanks to their help and all their efforts, my daughter is doing better than amazing.
But it’s not just me the TVCC and Children’s Hospital has helped.
In 2023, we helped produce the Canada Life Forest City Road Races live stream.
During the awards ceremony, many parents shared their experiences with TVCC. Here’s one of those stories.
I felt the need to pay it forward. Our local children’t hospital has helped so many kids get the best start to life.
All donations go direct to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in London, Ontario, Canada. Residents of Canada and the United States will receive a tax receipt from Children’s Miracle Network for their donations.
Our goal is to raise a minimum of $5,000. Ambitious, but doable.
None of the funds raised through donations come to us - they all go direct to Children’s Miracle Network.
Our event is a work in progress. You can mark your calendars though - we plan to go live for 24 hours on November 1st, 2024, starting at 9:00 AM Eastern.
Leading up to the event, we plan to have a series of test streams. Each of these streams we use both as a training period for me, and as a way for my team to get trained up on how to produce this event.
Our streams are scheduled for Fridays around 1:30 PM Eastern.
In addition to dancing for 24 hours, we also want to include the following in our programming.
- Interviews with Children’s Miracle Network staff about their mission
- Interviews with families who have spent time with the Children’s Hospital
- Guest dancers and/or interviews.
Going into this production, I knew we were going to need to expand our team. One technical director is just not enough to cover a 24-hour period.
In order to take on this project, we’ve had to scale back our production schedule this year.
If you would like to sponsor our event either through a financial contribution or an in-kind sponsorship, it would go a long way toward boosting our production.
Specific sponsorship packages are being worked on, but in the meantime reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Any sponsorship funds remaining at the end of the event will be donated to Extra Life and our local Children’s Miracle Network hospital.
Thank you for your support!