SAR 53rd Annual Fundraiser
Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy, better known by the acronym, SAR Academy, is a coeducational, private Modern Orthodox Jewish day school in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, NY. One of the more noteable design features of this forward-thinking private school is its open floor plan that creates the classrooms without borders where classes gather on terraced landings in the building's main space to learn in an open and airy environment.
Each year, SAR hosts a fundraising gala in order to celebrate the contributions of four of its community members and the achievements of its students. The school's 53rd fundraiser took place in 2022 just as the world was moving toward a return to normalcy following the lockdowns and social distancing mandates of the COVID era. The faculty wanted to give its 800 invited guests the ability to congregate without being forced to gather too closely together and, as it so happened, this concept of creating community in an open space aligned with SAR's architectural design.
SAR hosted the 2022 edition of its gala in the Nickelodeon Universe at American Dream Mall in New Jersey. The distinctly non-traditional venue is a 70,000-plus square-foot theme park that afforded attendees plenty of room to spread out while enjoying a communal celeberation alongside roller coasters and rides. Global's challenge was to develop an event concept that balanced the cavernous interior with the need for engagement and intimacy between attendees and honorees.
"I personally can't wait till I have another opportunity to work with Global."
Dir. Communications, SAR Academy
SAR 53 Annual Fundraiser
Scenes from SAR Academy's 53 Annual fundraising gala held in March, 2022 at the American Dream mall.
To accomplish this, Global created four bespoke honorree reception areas - one for each of the evening's honorees - designed to showcase and celebrate its honoree's achievements and contributions while echoing the open floor plan of the SAR school. Each of the reception areas featured a centerpiece wall, on which, was displayed work central to the honoree's theme. Sleek archways with custom die-cut signage and floor decals with the event's logo decorated the entrance to each reception area. Flatscreen 4K monitors and powered speakers were used to display slideshows and video content created for each honoree. When the main program began, IMag video from teh main stage was broadcast to each reception area allowing guests to view the program throughout the venue.
In addition to designing and constructing the reception areas, Global's team managed the entire audio-visual production for SAR's fundraiser. Four stage hands were stationed at the reception areas to ensure continuity of the audio-visual playback. The rest of Global's AV team was stationed at the front-of-house area near the stage and handled all playback, camera direction, and stage menagement ensuring a smooth and flawless program.
In the end, SAR announced that the school had raised over $5M during it's fundraising campaign. The event was extremely successful and the client was extremely pleased with the end result.