Tonawanda News


November 29, 2012

Call out for groups to benefit from Night of 1,000 Divas fundraiser

Tonawanda News — Non-profit organizations far and wide, community do-gooder Evelyn Zupo would like you to give her a call ... she wants to give you money.

Well, sort of. 

She’s actually looking for churches, auxiliary groups, Girl Scout groups — basically anyone who qualifies as a non-profit and needs a little help with fundraising — to become involved with the Night of 1,000 Divas event, a musical production at the Riviera Theatre Zupo said is meant to be an easy way for groups to raise funds.

Night of 1,000 Divas will hold its fifth annual event Jan. 30 consisting of a musical, “I Do, I Do” put on by Coop’s Spotlight Productions. 

The gist is this: Coop’s co-founders Chris Cooper and Debbie Zawada donate the production for one night, and Frank Canatta, executive director of the Riviera, donates the theater space. The theater sells tickets to organizations — DeGraff Hospital Auxiliary, the YWCA and Zonta are already on board, for example — at a cost of $5 per ticket. 

“Any non-profit organization can participate by paying the Riviera $5 per person, whether it be 10 tickets or 100 tickets,” Zupo said. “They write a check to the Riviera, I hand them the tickets, then they sell them for $25 and keep the $20 profit.”

It’s easy, she said, pointing to the ability for organizations big and small to sell as many tickets as they want without having to lift a finger organizing the event.

“Meals on Wheels may take 10 tickets, DeGraff Hospital may take 100,” Zupo said. “The groups can be as successful as they want to be.”

Phyllis Gentner, board member of the DeGraff Hospital Auxilliary and senior marketing associate at the hospital, said Night of 1,000 Divas gives the hospital its biggest return on investment.

“There’s a lot of pressure to make those extra dollars, but there’s also a lot more people doing” the same, she said. “It’s more challenging. We’re always looking for producitve, prosperous ways to make money, and this is the biggest bang for our buck.”

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