Giving a Bleep will trust the dharma for musical’s ticket sales
October 6, 2015
Since 2012, the local nonprofit Giving a Bleep has raised money for other area nonprofits through ticket sales of its annual musical comedy, "Giving a Bleep The Show."
The ticket price has been a flat $25, and that hasn’t sat right with Giving a Bleep Executive Director Annette Velarde and her head writer, Missy Hilton.
"Missy and I have always been bothered by that," Velarde told The Park Record. "The reason is because, for many Park City residents, $25 is chump change, but for other residents, a $50 date night is a big and sometimes expensive deal."
So, the two decided make some changes.
"We want people to name their own price and trust that those who can pay more, will, and those who can’t will still be able to donate whatever they can for a ticket and come and enjoy the show," Velarde said. "Our whole mission is to create community and we want everyone to come to the show. So, we decided to move the barrier and trust the dharma. This way, if people pay more, that means more money will be donated to the nonprofits."
Tickets for the fourth "Giving a Bleep The Show," which will be held at the Prospector Theater on Nov. 6-7 and 13-14, are available now at http://www.givingableep.org , and Velarde guarantees a majority of the proceeds will be made into donations.
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"Our expenses are minimal and we probably spend only $1,000 on the production, so the rest of the money will be given back to the nonprofits, which number around 20," she said. "This way, those who buy tickets to the show can trust that at least 80 percent of their money will be donated to nonprofits of their choosing. We hope next year it will be 90 percent."
Last year, Giving a Bleep raised about $15,000 for the local nonprofits, Velarde said.
"This year’s ticket price changes are like a social experiment," she said. "We want to see if we can match that or raise more money from those who want to give from the bottom of their hearts."
Velarde and Hilton decided to change the ticket prices in July.
"The reason is because tickets are the last piece of the puzzle that needs to be put together," Velarde said. "Everything else had fallen into place so beautifully."
Over the years, Velarde, her staff and volunteers have developed a system as to how the donations are distributed to the nonprofits.
"When you buy tickets, there’s a button you can click on that will designate which nonprofit the ticket buyer can donate to," Velarde explained.
Ticket buyers can also write in a nonprofit they want to donate.
"I do check to make sure the organization is a certified 501(c)3 and I will contact the nonprofit to find out where they registered, to make sure," Velarde said. "The nice thing about this is that all certified nonprofits are eligible.
"So, the little ones that get left out of the big fundraising activities can get support," she said. "If your kid belongs to the lacrosse team, you can list that team in the box and get support."
This year’s production promises to be cutting edge and still retain its over-the-top humor, according to Velarde.
"The theme is about the big development that is happening all over town, particularly the cluster that is known as Kimball Junction, because it seems like it’s covered with big-box stores now," she said. "It turns out the best solution for promoting and supporting local business is to turn it into a red-light district."
Raising money and having fun is only a small part of Giving a Bleep’s goals, Velarde said.
"We have three things in our mission statement," she said. "One is to have fun. The second is to build community and the third is to give back.
"Putting on a great show isn’t even on the list," Velarde said with a laugh. "We have such a tight [organization] right now that I am positive if I ever got hit by a truck, the core group would carry on. The people fully own it now, which was my goal from the get go. And while I did stumble in a couple of places in getting here, I knew what I wanted. And that was to create something that people would want to participate in to give something back.
"I think we’ve arrived, and it has gone far beyond my expectations," she said. "On a personal note, I’m impressed how engineers, accountants and grocery store clerks can dance, you know."
Tickets for "Giving a Bleep The Show" are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting http://www.givingableep.com . The production will run two weekends, Nov. 6-7 and 13-14, at the Prospector Theater, 2175 Sidewinder Dr.
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