Fuego International Cuisine is a relatively new restaurant in Yellowknife that is already making its mark. With their strong belief in supporting charitable causes, they wanted to do a fundraiser to help raise awareness about AIDS in Africa. According to Vanessa Baron, Entertainment & Special Event Coordinator, “we are proud to say that we are not just out to be a profitable business, but also a business with a social conscience.”
Impressed with the massive amount of work Oxfam Canada has done throughout the world, and looking to contribute to an organization dedicated to making a difference in the area of HIV and AIDS, they chose our organization as the beneficiary of their fundraiser, with World AIDS Day being the perfect opportunity.
In one night, with free musical entertainment, servers donating their tips, and the owner, Kaven Paradis matching 10% of sales for the evening, Fuego International Cuisine easily raised $1000, and Vanessa says it was really easy! “Advertising externally was easy and free, because the radio and newspapers were happy to advertise the event along with other PSAs. We put up posters and table talkers inside the restaurant for two weeks leading up to it, and that was all we needed to have a successful night and raise $1000 for Oxfam Canada.”
“The idea of doing one night with musicians and servers donating their time came from brainstorming a way to get everybody involved,” says Vanessa. “We had a positive response from our staff, and everyone was more than happy to be there. We have live music here every night…and in total we had a group of 10 people who went on and off stage throughout the course of the night. The musicians who usually get paid to perform willingly allowed their usual pay to be donated.”
The restaurant made sure that every patron that night was informed of the fundraiser and given a pamphlet explaining the details, including that 100% of tips would be donated that evening. Says Vanessa, “people were very appreciative of what we were doing, and they gave very generous tips, some over 50% of their bill.”
Vanessa and the staff and friends of Fuego International Cuisine found a great way to raise money for important causes with very little effort, and would strongly encourage other restaurants to get involved in a similar initiative in support of Oxfam Canada!