Onstage at the GMIC Sustainable Meetings Conference, Harith Wikrema challenged the audience to donate to the Foundation by saying he would match any donations made that day. Not missing a beat, Mitchell Beer, Foundation Chair, popped up and said he would collect them.
Immediately, people started getting out of their seats and handing cash to Mitchell. Someone brought him a shopping bag to gather all the money and the giving just kept on going. Presenters had to stop their discussion while the crowd dug through purses and pulled out wallets while working their way to Mitchell. It was like an old-time church revival with the energy in the room building with each donation. I have never seen anything like it at an industry meeting. Several others shouted out that they would match the total as well.
$1,008.35 was raised in a matter of minutes!
The community-minded professionals in the room walked the talk so the Foundation can continue to fund important educational programs bringing sustainability to the meeting industry. This is why GMIC and it's members make such a difference in our world. As Paul Salinger, GMIC President, said in his opening remarks, "We are all in!" Two days later, we proved it.