If you’ve tried to contact us here at Eyeflow anytime within the past couple of months, odds are you have become more than well-aware of the recent happenings around the office. From planning to finally partying, the staff at Eyeflow has been working around the clock to turn lemons in LemonAID, a fundraising event for Surgicorps International that was held on August 31 at the Grand Priory hotel.
Following a series of misfortunes, Eyeflow CEO Phil Laboon reluctantly made the decision to call off his wedding a mere two months before its scheduled date. With the plans already in place, Phil was left with a party without a purpose.
Not a Wedding, But Something to Remember
In only a matter of months, Phil managed to take advantage of his setbacks to help those less fortunate, turning him into what some are saying “The Most Eligible Bachelor in Pittsburgh.”
“It was a no-brainer, you have to take advantage of any opportunities you have to give back,” said Laboon when asked about his decision to transform his wedding into one of the city’s most successful fundraising events.
Working alongside the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization, Surgicorps International, the event aimed to raise not only awareness, but also thousands of dollars in both donations and supplies to use on their medical missions to provide countless children in developing countries, free and often lifesaving medical treatments.
Following Phil’s decision to transform the former wedding reception into a charitable fundraiser, the Eyeflow staff quickly began planning and preparing the event. With a week to go until the event, an article published by Pittsburgh’s Tribune Review helped to steamroll the promotion process quickly until the event became a national news story.
“I’ve learned what it means to go viral,” said Kathy Laboon about the outpouring of media attention and nationwide support for both Phil and Surgicorps. From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, CNN, CBS, Woman’s Daily, Huffington Post and People Magazine to media extending into Australia, Singapore and Sweden, LemonAID quickly skyrocketed from a local charity event to a worldwide affair.
On August 31, the Grand Hall at the Priory Hotel served as the location for what truly was a night to remember. The hall was decorated from floor to ceiling with lemons, a symbol that came to represent a change for those children who would benefit from the life-saving surgeries of future Surgicorps missions. From close family friends to strangers looking to donate to a good cause, an upwards of 200 partygoers indulged in the gourmet food and drink offerings while donating in hopes to bring home one of the roughly 50 raffle and silent auction giveaways.
As the event moved along guests danced, sang and partied their way through the night in the name of Surgicorps. Donations to the charity came pouring in throughout the night as many were touched by a stunning presentation of what Surgicorps offers to children and families throughout the world.
Honeymoon: The Aftermath of LemonAID
While the reception may be over, the honeymoon remains. In the weeks following the event hundreds of calls for interviews and donations poured in, as both Laboon and Demos have continued to remain in media headlines across the globe.
Just two weeks after the event, Demos and his team of volunteers head off to Africa to offer their medical services and perform hundreds of life-altering surgeries. With thousands in donations and supplies raised, the group was surely well-equipped for their mission. Stateside, Laboon continues to spread awareness for the nonprofit with an ever-growing list of interviews, television appearances and speaking events.
Missed the event and still looking for a chance to donate? Surgicorps International will be partnering with the Pennsylvania Batten Disease Support organization to host their 10th Annual “A Night on the Town” event on Friday, October 10 at the Sheraton Station Square.
Additionally, Surgicorps is always looking for more volunteers and donations for their medical missions. Whether you are a medical professional looking to offer your services or just someone looking to lend a helping hand where needed, Surgicorps is welcome to your help. Being a Surgicorps volunteer is a life-changing experience that gives you the chance to help hundreds of children and their families. If you can’t make the trip across oceans with Surgicorps, they are always glad to accept any donation you can offer. For more information on how to donate or volunteer, visit www.surgicorps.org/.
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