University of New Orleans Vietnamese American Student Association

Most Outstanding Philanthropic Event - Paper Lantern Night

Provide a detailed description of the event and the population it served. Details MUST include: date of event, number of participants, program purpose (goals, objectives, etc.), use of resources (finances, community support, etc.), and marketing techniques.

Paper lantern night is also one of our staple events we try to host every year. This past year Paper lantern night was held on September 23, 2017 from 6:30 -9PM. We held the event at University of New Orleans’s Homer L Hitt. Alumni Center, which incorporated the indoor and outdoor area of location. We had about 200 people attend this event. This included the UNO Community, UNO VASA members, VSA members within the region, and VSA members outside the region such as UVSA Southeast.
Program Purpose: to have UNOVASA’s most traditional event remain traditional but to also improve with the ongoing year. Also, we want this event to serve as a way for our auctionees to gain money for their Date Auction fundraising. For some aspects of our programming, we went back to our roots. We did bring back our traditional shadow dance to open the show and to grab the attention of the audience. With the end of our shadow dance, the script allowed us to use shadow dance to reveal our emcees for the night. For our performers we did want to have a nice representation of Vietnamese, American and Vietnamese-American culture. We had performances with Vietnamese music, lion dancing and traditional fan dancing. We also had American performances and songs performed by members of UNOVASA, TUVA and VSA LSU. Programming also included our sponsorship raffles. Raffles were provided by members and businesses within the community and all proceeds went to our auctionees which ultimately went to our CPP this year, Pacific Links Foundation. Raffles included food gift cards, haircut coupons and even a free set of eyelash extensions.
Marketing Techniques:
#fandancechallenge This was the second year that we have done our #fandancechallenge. All members of UNOVASA’s Eboard participated in the #fandancechallenge. We invited anyone and everyone to participate. We had submissions from VSALSU, VSOUL, TUVA, UGAVSA and many more. Our “favorite” #fandancechallenge won a gift card of their choice and was displayed in our newsletter. Every submission for #fandancechallenge, UNOVASA donated $1 to CPP.
Sponsorship Highlights:
UNOVASA really focused a lot on continuity and the theme of their social media. For sponsorship highlights, we kept our color scheme of rose gold but also decided to do polaroids of the businesses that sponsored us. The polaroids also listed their addresses on them.
This event got involved with the UNO community by being a Privateer Plunge. Privateer Plunge is UNO’s way to get freshmen and transfer students involved with on campus events. Also, we wanted to helped bring culture to the University of New Orleans by hosting our own kind of Vietnamese festival. Also, we promoted local New Orleans business through our sponsorship and displaying them at Paper Lantern Night, and also going to their business to support them as well.
Also, We reached out to our VSA community by sending individual invitation to each school and neighboring regions, UVSA South and UVSA Southeast. We had representation from about 9/10 schools in the Gulf Coast Region. Also, our invitation to UVSASE actually taken up the invitation. Their President, Phuc Phan and his guest attended our event and thoroughly enjoyed himself.

What efforts were used to motivate and involve the organization's members?

Member involvement: We asked members to participate via talent, fashion show, setting up the event, and/or operating the booths. In terms of performances we had traditional Vietnamese singing by one of our members, Huy Vu, Fan dancing by Golden Lotus, which one of our members, Laura Trinh, is a part of, and Lion dancing which was performed by Woodlawn’s Lion Dance Team. Members from UNOVASA and other VSAS (many thanks for VSA LSU and TUVA) helped set up the event as well as operated the booths. Lastly, members were allowed to participate in our fashion show. Members of UNOVASA and VSAs within the region help participate in the fashion show.

How did the organization overcome any challenges that arose while planning and implementing the event?

Challenges we faced while planning our event was dealing with our internal UNO organizations such as SIL (Student Involvement and Leadership) and Student Government Association. There was a lot of miscommunication from these organizations, but we always remain professional and ready to give any information they needed. We needed more volunteers for our booths, thus we implemented Senior Advisers to certain booths to help. We did not have enough plates and big spoons for the event, we resolve this by having an UNO VASA alumni get more supplies. Also, it was very hard to find sponsorships this year, so some E-board members stepped up and found more sponsorships for other E-board members because a lot of businesses were saying no.

Additional Comments 

We also had jars placed all around the event where members were allowed to donate any amount they would like to CPP. Also, we asked for a minimum donation amount for certain booths such as the photo booth and pandan waffles, in order to make more profit for our Auctionees and for CPP. From raffles alone, we raised over $250 for our auctionees.