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Toronto Raptors Fill Muzik With Hard Hats, Team Branding for Red Party Fund-Raiser

By Susan O'Neill January 11, 2011, 2:45 PM EST

Photo: BizBash

For the annual Raptors Red Party—held to support Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment's Team Up Foundation—event organizers filled Muzik with white hard hats, team banners, and Toronto Raptors players and dancers for a fund-raiser attended by 600 guests on Monday. “We have six events a year, and this is the signature Raptor event. We'll raise about $250,000 tonight,” said Jillian Svensson, Maple Leaf's manager of events and community fund-raising.

“We have hard hats at some of the V.I.P. booths. That's kind of our badge of honour tonight. The hats represent our work in refurbishment, because we refurbish courts, rinks, and pitches in our community. We give them out with a Sharpie so [guests] can get all of the players to sign them as well,” said Svensson, adding that the foundation sold similar hard hats at a Toronto Maple Leafs event. “We're going to roll them out across all our events this year.”

The evening began with a V.I.P. reception prior to the main cocktail party. Event organizers provided V.I.P. guests, seated in private booths, with a hostess and bottle service. Toronto Raptors players also mingled with V.I.P. attendees.

Organizers used the existing decor at Muzik and added Raptors branding—banners, a wrapped stage, and a step-and-repeat—throughout the venue. Platinum Catering Company, the in-house caterer at the Air Canada Centre, offered passed hors d'oeuvres and dishes like Thai green curry chicken over coconut rice and New Orleans-style muffalettta sandwiches at food stations.

DJ Wristpect and MC Sir Lancelot spun tunes, the Raptors Dance Pak performed onstage, and a mentalist roamed through the crowd entertaining V.I.P.s. “We wanted to bring the entertainment into the V.I.P. areas this year,” Svensson said.

The Team Up Foundation combines the philanthropic efforts of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC, and Toronto Marlies. “The Red Party is a celebration of the meaningful work both the Raptors and the MLSE Team Up Foundation do in our community,” said event chair Aris Kaplanis. “Proceeds from events such as the Red Party allow us to refurbish courts, rinks, and fields, and to fund sustainable programs that empower youth through sports and recreation.”

Event sponsors included Rogers, Miller Genuine Draft, and Athlete's Care Sports Medicine Centres.

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