Attracting Out-of-Towners to Your Benefit

November 13, 2002, 12:00 AM EST

In this tough economic climate, it's getting harder to get well-heeled New Yorkers to shell out thousands for benefit tickets when they just saw their stock portfolios tank. According to The New York Times, nonprofits have resorted to reaching out to the rest of the country to attend its benefits, and the best way to do that is—big surprise—to get more celebrities to your event. “To offer prospective guests from the less-than-lofty classes more of the tastiest bait—celebrities—[event planners] are asking board members to call in favors or even pay stars an appearance fee,” the article says.

Citing the attendance at the recent Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation benefit at the Marriott Marquis, where celebs included Michael Douglas, Robin Williams, Alan Alda, Kim Cattrall, Al Roker, Denyce Graves and Richard Belzer, several out-of-towners expressed the reason for attendance was celeb-spotting. Two California teenagers flew over from Los Angeles to see Catherine Zeta-Jones, and another woman made the trip just to see Barbara Walters.

Posted 11.13.02

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