June 12, 2018

Team Impact, perhaps more than IMPACTFUL!

As we reflect on a successful second quarter, we think of the meaningful events and experiences we’ve had a chance to participate in over the last few months – perhaps none more impactful than the Team IMPACT Gala. Launched in the spring of 2011 by co-founders Jay Calnan and Dan Kraft, Team IMPACT was formed with the intention of connecting children facing serious and chronic illness, with college athletic teams, to “form life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes.” Pulling together their network of former classmates and business associates, Calnan and Kraft built an organization that has touched the lives of thousands of children, and tens of thousands of student athletes, by building meaningful relationships both on and off the field of play.

As the pinnacle of their spring program, Team IMPACT held their 6th annual Game Day Gala, on Wednesday, May 9th at the Seaport World Trade Center. What started 6 years ago as an informational fundraising event, the gala has grown into an opportunity for Team IMPACT to showcase some of their participants, and to celebrate the amazing work the organization does each year. This year’s gala hosted over 1200 attendees and raised $2.3 million.

The Game Day gala was a night filled with storytelling and song, with this year’s event pulling in some star power in the form of multi-platinum musical artist Rachel Platten, who was joined by several TI teammates in singing her “Fight Song” – an anthem to many children and families battling illness.

VDA was fortunate to participate in this year’s gala, providing custom, two-tiered auction tables (to elevate the ease for attendees to donate), as well as cocktail tables and a green turf runner, to help immerse attendees in the Team IMPACT culture. The auction and cocktail tables, and green turf runner, specifically created for the client’s needs, “helped bring the event to the next level,” in the words of Team IMPACT’s Mary Callaghan (Director, Marketing and Communications) and Maura Mahoney (Senior Development Officer, Leadership Giving). The display included auction items donated by the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, and Boston Celtics, in a show of support from the local, professional teams.

While Team IMPACT continues to grow, Mary and Maura believe they’ve created a “special sauce,” for the event, in the sense that, “we give the people in the room the opportunity to hear firsthand from our families, from the children, from the student athletes, from the coaches, and that really resonates with the people in the room.” The gala is an opportunity to share unique stories from Team IMPACT participants. Adorned with their team jerseys, approximately 100 student athletes, from across the country, came to Boston to volunteer for the event, creating a huge presence in the cocktail reception as they interacted with the little kids matched with their teams.

If you would like to learn more about Team IMPACT and the phenomenal work they do, please check out the following link:

For more information on how VDA can help bring your upcoming events to the next level, please reach out to or call 888.868.9200 to connect with our sales team!

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