Fred’s Footsteps

The G. Fred DiBona Memorial Foundation (“Fred’s Footsteps”) helps families with seriously ill or injured children by providing direct financial assistance to otherwise financially stable families facing a child’s hospitalization. They provide a funding bridge to working families for a period of one year to help adjust them to their child’s changing needs.


The Challenge

Dunleavy & Associates was engaged by Fred’s Footsteps in January 2011 for tasks associated with its annual fundraising event while the Executive Director of the organization was on maternity leave. The “Party in the Park,” held each year in March, is produced by a Steering Committee of the organization, with limited staff support. The event has maintained a moderate ticket price, intentionally designed to encourage a high attendance of people who are looking to support the organization while having a fun night on the town. In 2010, “Party in the Park” was attended by approximately 500 people and contributed nearly $85,000 in net proceeds.


Strategic Solution

Our firm provided a Project Manager and Project Associate who managed the work and timeline of the event committee; attended committee meetings; took and distributed meeting notes; assure that the project tasks, timelines and budgets were adhered to; and created the master plan for the day of the event. We worked with the caterer, established and managed the registration process, created and implemented a comprehensive media plan, and assisted with identifying and securing corporate sponsors, both in-kind and cash.


The Results

On Friday, March 18, nearly 600 guests turned out for the fifth annual “Party in the Park,” benefiting the G. Fred DiBona, Jr. Memorial Foundation. The event was held at the Please Touch Museum®, Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park. Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception, buffet dinner, dancing to music by Chico’s Vibe, and a lively auction and raffle hosted by Tim Lake, co-anchor of the NBC10 News, the official media sponsor of the evening. Though an NBC anchor has hosted the event each year, this was the first time that a media sponsorship was secured for the organization. Promotional spots worth over $23,000 aired on NBC10 the week leading up to the event.

The 2011 “Party in the Park” raised over $111,000, a 30% increase from 2010.


Continued Relationship

Since 2011, Dunleavy has maintained its relationship with Fred’s Footsteps, planning and executing the 2012 Party in the Park and 2013 Party in the Park events. In summer 2013, we also assumed all of the communications work for the organization.