The #WakeWillLead Capital Campaign Event…

Beverages and balance

wake-6Written by Andrew Snorton, Contributing Writer of Cocktail Chronicles

For a number of business, social, or even fundraising events, part of what comes with the territory is the possibility of alcoholic beverages being served.  As with any such event, it is about enjoying yourself responsibly based on the audience and context of the event.


On Thursday, October 27, 2016, I was able to see this balance work in a very effective and efficient manner.  It just so happened to take place during my homecoming at the campus of Wake Forest University as part of the capital campaign event tied in with the #WakeWill campaign, along with its subsequent extension and rebranding as the #WakeWillLead campaign.


wake-4Since its silent phase in 2010 and its public phase in 2013, the goal of the #WakeWill campaign is to fundraise $1 billion by the end of 2018, with one-third of the monies directed toward student financial aid and support for both the main campus and the medical school campus.  Given the outstanding planning and execution along with broader support, the goals of the campaign were reached nearly 2 years ahead of schedule.  As a way to keep the momentum going and ensuring a stronger fiscal setting for the aforementioned focus areas, the campaign was rebranded as #WakeWillLead.


Clearly, a celebration was in order.  Even more clear were the safeguards in place for attendees to enjoy themselves, but not put themselves under any adverse or excessive risk.


wake-5The event started at 6:30pm, but the planning team had an effective transportation strategy.  For those who RSVP’d, if they drove, they had the option of parking and walking or taking the golf-cart shuttles (which a few of us took advantage of) directly to venue.  Once there and upon check in, the “networking” time (which is about 45 minutes) was complete with appetizers ranging from seafood, meat, fruit, and other light bites, to a balance of non-alcoholic beverages to the wait staff providing complimentary wine, along with the “higher-end” option of an open bar complete with favorites such as Crown Royal, Grey Goose, and other industry standard mixed beverages.


wake-2Again, this was available for a 45 minute period, so while it provided for some indulgence, it was done in a strategic manner.  The same held true for the post-networking time, as all patrons (nearly 300) were able to enjoy a fully plated dinner, ranging from beef tenderloin and sea bass, salad, and other delectable dishes.  And while patrons were able to enjoy alcoholic beverages, the only ones served were wine.


That is, until it was time for the ceremonial toast.  And of course, in true university fashion, the toast was done with an ode to the late Arnold Palmer, an alumnus of the university, complete with sweet tea and lemonade (non-alcoholic).


wake-3Again, there are instances in which alcohol is part of the equation. While no system is perfect, there are measures that can be taken based on the audience and context so that beverages may be enjoyed responsibly.These measures along with corresponding safeguards reduce the potential of excessive consumption.  And even if there is excessive consumption taking place, the time limit and limits on the kinds of beverages still endorse the underlying notion of enjoying libations and related concoctions as responsibly as possible.


Not only is Wake acting as a leader when it comes to fundraising, but their leadership shows in the manner in which they are able to provide a fun, festive occasion for a sound accomplishment and launch of a new campaign, but doing so in as balanced a manner as possible.