by Elizabeth Callahan | December 1, 2010 | Lifestyle
The celebration's festive tent
How can you make the annual must-attend Boogie’s Bash for the Buddies even more glam? Add yet another draw to the win-win combination of a great cause and a guaranteed great time: high fashion. This summer, the Buddy Program did just that as Fendi came on as an official sponsor and catered its lounge to the late-night crowd.
Sold as a less pricey addition to the gala-event ticket, the hot, high-energy Fendi Lounge transported Aspen’s up-and-comers into a fashion wonderland, complete with a glowing Fendi bar, video of the Fall/Winter Fendi catwalk projected on the ceiling, a special dessert table, cocktails (of course) and tunes from DJ Pesce.
The bash saw a boost in donations due to the lounge, which was geared toward a new group of donors—namely young professionals who are getting more involved with philanthropy. “The program is not only looking to the Fendi Lounge for fundraising,” says Catherine Anne Provine, executive director of the Buddy Program, “but for furthering our message to a new demographic about the benefits of mentoring, both to the participating youth and also to the community.”
The event represents a celebration of Aspen giving, and as people danced the night away, the message Provine speaks about was not far from anyone’s mind.
The Buddy Program is a mentoring organization that pairs community adults (big buddies) with children (little buddies). Buddies meet three or four times a month for activities of their choosing—like hiking, seeing movies or just hanging out—to develop a supportive relationship that helps little buddies improve their self-esteem and achieve their goals.
The cause resonates with Fendi’s core principles. “The Buddy Program’s philosophy of strengthening commitment to the community by inspiring youth through mentoring speaks directly to the DNA of our Roman brand,” says Stacy Van Praagh, Fendi’s North America president. “Fendi is dedicated to cultivating growth through collaborative efforts in various fields, whether it’s specific to design-related platforms, the arts, community building or the mentoring of youth.”
This year’s event may have come and gone, but there are still several ways to get involved with the Buddy Program. A testament to the program’s success is its newest endeavor: This fall it launched a pilot mentoring program in Carbondale. Also, 2011 will mark the second year of its experiential programs for at-risk teens throughout the region, from Aspen to Parachute. More programs, however, demand more volunteers. “We are always looking for more big buddies for children on our waiting list,” says Provine, “We currently have around 35 youths in need of a mentor.” With an international fashion house like Fendi behind the charity, there’s no time like the present to join in the cause. buddyprogram.org
PHOTOGRAPH BY RICCARDO SAVI