Nece Foundation Incorporates Twitter Into Pre-Gala Limo Hunt

By Mitra Sorrells July 11, 2011, 4:20 PM EDT

Photo: Pezz Photo

Ryan Nece Foundation Gala
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The Ryan Nece Foundation’s annual gala on June 25 expanded its daytime limo hunt by adding more activities and sharing clues and photos on Twitter. RSBP Events coordinated the limo hunt and gala for the nonprofit foundation, named for former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Ryan Nece. Eighteen teams, up from 12 last year, traveled around the Tampa area in vehicles provided by Ambassador Limo. Each team of four to 10 people included a celebrity participant—some of Nece’s former N.F.L. colleagues included.

“People like to spend time with a celebrity, and we thought it was a way to increase revenue, because we make it about sponsoring the car. It makes for somewhat of a long day, but people say it’s the most fun part of the whole event. Then when they get to the gala, they feel more of a part of something,” said RSBP Events president Brooke Palmer.

The two-hour hunt began around noon, following a breakfast reception at Neiman Marcus. At each of the 10 stops, team members had to collect items or take photos of themselves doing a designated activity. At the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, participants had to photograph a specific piece of memorabilia. At Boing! Jump Center teams earned points by playing a boxing game.  

Throughout the hunt, Nece traveled around the Tampa area sending clues about his location via Twitter. Teams earned extra points for finding Nece and taking a picture with him. Participants were also encouraged to share photos of their activities on Twitter and Facebook.  

“We thought the social media element was cool because people who were going to the gala but not doing the limo hunt could follow the tweets,” Palmer said.  

Participation in the limo hunt included a ticket to the gala later that night at the T. Pepin Hospitality Centre. About 300 people attended the gala, which included heavy hors d’oeuvres from Puff 'n Stuff Catering and a candy bar from Chic Sweets. Organizers are still totaling proceeds, which will fund programs that support volunteerism, wellness, and character development among young people in the Tampa area.

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