Toronto’s most remarkable Holiday fundraiser, HoHoTO, takes over the Mod Club for the fourth consecutive year on Thursday, December 15, 2011. One of the largest third-party contributors to Daily Bread Food Bank, HoHoTO aims to raise over $65,000 this year, bringing total donations to more than $200,000 since the annual event launched in 2008.
Known as “the party that Twitter built,” HoHoTO sells out 600 tickets every year for a remarkable night of music, dancing, and enthusiastic partying; attracting a hyper-connected crowd from Toronto’s vibrant technology, digital marketing and social media communities. Run entirely by volunteers on zero budget, one of the most extraordinary things about HoHoTO is that 100 per cent of all sponsor donations go directly to help Daily Bread.
With the ongoing economic downturn, unemployment in the Greater Toronto Area is high and many people are in need. GTA food bank use has actually increased 14% since the first HoHoTO in 2008, and this year the need is greater than ever. Daily Bread Food Bank is facing a 140,000-pound shortage of food heading into this Holiday Season.
“No one deserves to go hungry anytime, least of all during the Holidays,” said Alexa Clark, Editor and Publisher, CheapEats Restaurant Guides, and one of the fundraiser’s founding organizers. “More than a million of our Toronto-area neighbours have had to visit a food bank in the past year. Given how affluent our city is that’s just unacceptable.”
HoHoTO attracts support from a host of generous sponsors, including Molson Coors, Rogers, Chevrolet, Teehan+Lax, Klick Health, Gelaskins, Keek and many others. Partygoers are treated to great music from local DJs and an extraordinary silent raffle filled with donated prizes like smartphones, spa packages, sports tickets, private chef services, art, and e-book readers. The HoHoTO Hangover Auction, one of the world’s first Twitter-driven charity auctions, kicks off on the evening of December 20, with some great additional prizes up for grabs.
“For the last three years, HoHoTO has helped inject wonderful positivity into the fight against hunger,” said Gail Nyberg, executive director, Daily Bread Food Bank. “We are truly thankful for the time and commitment that the HoHoTO organizers put in. Without the support of organizations like HoHoTO, our Holiday Drive could not be as successful.”
HoHoTO has been cited as one of the first and best examples of the power of self-organizing online groups to make a real-world difference. In 2010, HoHoTO was among the top three third-party fundraising events for the Daily Bread Food Bank. The event has been profiled as a best-practice use of Twitter and social media in best-selling business books and was even recognized by Queen Rania of Jordan as an example of social media influencing online activism.