When I took on leading impac+NYC over 5 years ago, I had a vision on how we can come together as a community of individuals – to be safe, to be wise, to be powerful. As individuals we are capable of so much, but can accomplish more when we work together in teams or as a community overall. Building on the work of countless others, notably Jacob Pring and Josh Wellman, I worked with Jeanathan Lei to bring new social groups, new kinds of events, and a more sustainable community. Sometimes we have been successful and sometimes not, but even in our struggles, Jeanathan, Etienne, Philip, Tim, Brian, among many others, and me grew stronger together in our shared excitement and challenges in community-building. While some of our events have been better than others, we maintain a core group of 1500 people connected through our various social media and our newsletter. You have answered the call when one of us needs money after a fire, or when one of us needs a few nights of medication. You are responsive when we ask your opinions, and you are kind and welcoming when you do come out. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now, I couldn’t be prouder of the incredible humans who make up our community!
In 2019, the Ritz Bar & Lounge offered to help us strengthen our community in other ways. They donated 10% of bar proceeds from each of the happy hours we hosted last year to a charity or group of our choosing. In all, we benefited 22 organizations and raised over $5,000 through the Ritz alone. Of course, we’ve paired the events with fabulous prize raffles and auctions raising another $3,500 for groups that serve our community. We are stronger together – when we work together as people and organizations, we greatly magnify our impact. As it turns out, we can have a lot of fun in coming together, too.
2019 was a blast, but 2020 is going to be better yet. We’re finding new ways to bring you all together and to work with more groups that want to see us live long happy healthy lives!