Wow, what a night! The 2nd Annual CHA Foundation Gala & Silent Auction, sponsored by Michaels, lived up to its billing of dinner, dancing and inspiration. The themes of the evening were celebrating the industry and giving back, and we accomplished both in a BIG way this year!
Everyone was greeted by a glass of champagne and walked down the “blue carpet” as they entered a “Hollywood awards ceremony” just for our industry!
The first hour was spent at the cocktail reception and silent auction, the proceeds of which benefitted CRE8TIME and The Kids in Need Foundation.
We had two amazing hosts in Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender of KIZER & BENDER – who should be, if they aren’t already, auditioning for the hosting gig at the Golden Globes next year!
The program kicked-off with the celebration of the CHA 2015 Industry Award Winners.
The CHA 2015 Industry Award Winners went to:
- Meritorious Award: Herb Lantinga, Notions Marketing
- Industry Achievement Award: LaDorna & Robert Eichenberg, Ellison
- Special Recognition Award: Joann Pearson, Michaels
For more about the winners and the Industry Awards, read the press release here.
The program continued with the Exhibiting with Excellence awards, which went to those exhibitors who were judged on overall visual booth appeal; clarity of product being sold; access to make-n-takes; engaging booth flow; as well as enthusiasm and friendliness of Booth staff.
The winners of the CHA 2015 MEGA Show Exhibiting with Excellence Awards were:
- Island & Peninsula Group – Spinrite
- Linear Booth – ClearBags
- New Exhibitor – Little B
- Critic’s Choice – Spellbinders PaperArts
CHA’s President & CEO, Andrej Suskavcevic, provided an update on the CHA Foundation’s goals for the future, including partnering with other like-minded organizations to continue to drive the momentum of raising awareness for the need to devote more time for creative expression. In addition to the CRE8TIME movement, proceeds from the silent auction and raffle went to support the Kids in Need Foundation (KINF).
Every year for the past 12 years, CHA has partnered with KINF to harvest product from exhibitors of CHA Trade Shows, which has resulted in the collection and distribution of $1,591,019.75 worth of donated supplies to teachers and their students at the neediest of schools. The funds from the Gala that will be donated to KINF will be used to fund two grants that will help build art programs at a school in the CHA office’s home state of NJ. Dave Smith, the Executive Director, accepted the check on-behalf of KINF.
After dinner, it was time to award the 2015 Hot Products! 112 products were submitted this year – a record number! A celebrity and media judging panel selected the award winners based on what makes the product unique; how it will improve the crafter’s overall experience; and the interest it generates in crafting for non-crafters.
For the full list of the 2015 CHA Hot Product Winners click here.
The program concluded with the induction ceremony of the 2015 CHA Hall of Fame. This year’s class included:
- John & Edna Clapper
- Jane Anne Davis
- Andrea Grossman
- Howard Hoffman
- Vince Naccarato
- William “Bill” Neu
- John E. “Jack” Parker
- Tom Yaley, Sr.
What can we say besides, “What an evening!” Congratulations to all of the nominees, winners and the Hall of Fame class of 2015. We can’t wait to celebrate again next year!