1. In Her Shoes Gala
United Way of Utah County and Women in Philanthropy
Every November nearly 200 guests put their best feet forward at the “In Her Shoes” gala. In 2009 the event walked all over previous records and raised $68,200 for women and children in Utah County. With catering by Culinary Crafts and the “gong auction,” the event has become a favorite in its first three years. The premier auction item has been a week in a luxurious Maui house (donated by Alpine’s Lynnette Loveland). The 2009 winning bidder? Rebecca James (wife of Omniture’s Josh James). Talk about well-heeled.
2. Timpanogos Storytelling Festival
Friends of the Orem Library
Bringing in crowds of 26,000, the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival is a standard-setter in the national storytelling world. The Friends of the Orem Library organized the festival in 1990 to garner support for a new library wing. The Festival and library partner to host workshops and to offer the largest collection of storytelling resources in the world.
3. Dollhouse Festival
Children’s Justice Center
Each fall a miniature community of dollhouses takes over the Provo City Library to celebrate childhood and raise much-needed money for the Children’s Justice Center. This year will bring the 12th annual event, which includes a dinner, a silent auction, a free public viewing of the hand-crafted houses, and a tea party for children including treats, storytelling and games. Community donations, especially those from the festival, are primarily responsible for the maintenance of the Children’s Justice Center, which provides counseling to local physically and sexually abused children.
4. Chocolate Extravaganza
Intermountain Healthcare’s and Utah Valley Healthcare Foundation
Flowing chocolate fountains. Decadent chocolate cake. Rich cheesecake with chocolate. Fudgy chocolate brownies. These treats make up the Chocolate Extravaganza — the sweetest way to raise money for the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. The yearly gala brings in much-needed funds for state-of-the-art equipment, cutting-edge new services, parent support programs and bereavement services.
5. Day Of Caring
Nearly 700 of Utah County’s caring citizens come together each September to complete more than 20 service projects at nonprofit organizations and at homes of individuals in need. United Way’s Day of Caring is an annual event supported by many of Utah Valley’s biggest companies, like Nu Skin, Young Living Essential Oils, Novell and APX Alarm.
6. Easter Basket Auction
Brent Brown Automotive Group and Provo School District Foundation
This annual Easter-time event offers more than jelly beans, chocolate bunnies and plastic eggs. Instead, auction items have included private concerts with Kurt Bestor, a vacation home in Cabo San Lucas and a private football camp with the BYU football coaching staff. Last year Provo School District’s after-school programs earned $100,000 from the 200 auction attendees.
7. Discovery Cup
Thanksgiving Point is all about hands-on discovery. Each summer the Discovery Cup Golf Challenge and Dinner helps provide field trips, summer and day camps, and a host of other activities to Title I Schools, Boys & Girls Clubs, and other organizations that might not otherwise be able to attend Thanksgiving Point.
8. An Evening of Stars
SCERA Center for the Arts
The red carpet is rolled out each February for SCERA’s celebrity arts gala, a black-tie event celebrating the groups and individuals who make significant contributions to the arts in Utah County. The 2009 Star Award, the event’s biggest honor, went to Kurt Bestor.
9. Bowls for Humanity
Food and Care Coalition
Soup’s on at this yearly fundraiser, where students and professional potters donate handmade bowls and chefs donate soups. More than 600 attended the event last March, which was the third Bowls for Humanity.
10. Keep the Kids Moving Breakfast
Kids on the Move
Kids on the Move spreads word of its purpose — to serve families with special-needs infants and toddlers — at a free gourmet breakfast each November. Last year the Utah Valley University Culinary Arts Institute hosted the event, where 200 attendees learned more about Kids on the Move’s mission and contributed to the goal to raise $3 million for an endowment fund.