It is an elaborate dance developed for the upper class that evolved into a celebratory tradition cloaked in wealth, but for Colleen Kurdy, her upcoming masquerade ball will be a night of philanthropy. She’s named the affair “Masquer-aid”. Every guarded identity at her party will symbolize a donor who has guarded a child from lack of education.
Colleen, a program manager at Google, traffics in the non-party planning world. Like most people whose birthday falls near a holiday, she’s never organized a huge gathering for herself. Her upcoming 40th birthday falls near Thanksgiving but after hearing about International Day of the Girl, she decided to throw her birthday party in October to be more affiliated with the global movement. She’s not just sharing her birthday with a holiday, she’s sharing it with millions of girls around the world. “I invited friends and colleagues who I knew would be supportive of an extraordinary cause and who would enjoy the revelry of commemorating the completion of my 30s.”
The tagline on her website invitation reads “a benefit masquerading as a party”. More than 100 people will be attending the festivity and 100% of their ticket donations will go to Girl Rising. Her impact goal is to raise $10,000 for the Girl Rising Fund.
“I’m extremely glad I chose Girl Rising to partner with because everyone has been so encouraging, even though I’m not hosting a screening. They were open to me doing my own thing. They’ve been available and supportive with all the content that I could possibly need.”
For content, Colleen is projecting Girl Rising logos intermittently during a stream of other artistic images shown at the venue and she will play the documentary trailer on the wall, as well. Her party invitation includes the Girl Rising film teaser and a link to 10x10’s homepage. She’s funding the party entirely by herself, with the hope of getting beverage donations.
The positive feedback she’s received from friends has helped to trump her anxiety around planning the event. “ I don’t think I anticipated how good it would make me feel to support such an incredibly high-impacting cause.”
As she continues the masquerade tradition in her own philanthrophy-by-partying way, she’ll be sure to record the impact of this event with photos and a call-to-action for more donations. “The Girl Rising documentary has made it very easy to ignite conversations.”
Update: Colleen Kurdy’s masquer-aid was a success. She wrote to friends: “Your collective generosity totaled $10,225 and with Google’s match, resulted in raising more than $20,000 for Girl Rising. What an amazing night supporting the movement to break barriers to education for girls globally while creating our own movement on the dance floor! ”