The JT Walk & Beach Party is the single largest event in the U.S. supporting research and service for ALS. The annual walk and ALS fundraiser asked Mix+Shine to help with community engagement to meet its annual goal and raise important funds for ALS.
How did we do it?
Mix+Shine engaged the Hampton Roads community via social media and direct partnerships. This included a local “battle of the breweries,” which got the word out about the event at a place where locals already gather. Breweries put together their own walk team to compete, encouraging others to do the same.
In addition, a local reality show cast joined the walk. This built in promotion for weeks leading up to the event on local news.
Our goal was to get the word out in advance, and then showcase the event day-of. Mix+Shine engaged local media, as well as media outlets focused on veterans and people with disabilities.
Didn’t you mention a hurricane?
Just a few days before the event, it became clear that Hurricane Joaquin would be affecting Virginia Beach the weekend of the annual walk and beach party. If you’ve ever planned an event, you can imagine the challenge… making the call, communicating cancellation, finding a new date that doesn’t conflict with other events, rebooking entertainment and so on.
The Virginia Gentlemen Foundation that manages the JT Walk each year handled the change expertly. With a rain-date now on the calendar, Mix+Shine was determined to deliver just as big an event as was expected.
Mix+Shine managed communication of the delay, and rallied energy for the rescheduled rain-date and turn out media for the event.
So how did it go in the end?
Despite the delay, the event saw thousands of participants and raised $2M for ALS research and a first-of-its-kind outdoor experience for people with disabilities, including gold-star families and veterans, called Camp Grom.
Mix+Shine landed and coordinated media coverage with the local FOX, ABC and CBS news stations who came to cover the story – and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe was on-site at the event for interview.
Despite the weather obstacle, the ALS fundraiser was a success!