Culture of Giving
Philanthrophy in the Krewe of Cavaliers
From early in its history, the Krewe of Cavaliers has embraced a culture of giving. And, like everything else that’s been around for the last 20+ years, the strategy for giving has changed a good bit along the way.
The first major fundraising event was held in 1987. The event was the 4th Krewe ball, called “Cavalier High Prom.” For many members and their guests, it was their first chance to go to a prom and dance with the one they loved. The event raised $15,000 for the Tampa Aids Network, and the Krewe continued to raise similar amounts for T.A.N each year over the following decade, making it the largest private source of donations for this very important charity. While T.A.N. received substantial government money, that money could not be used for many essential activities in education and community outreach due to government rules. Private donations, like those from the Krewe, helped to make it possible for T.A.N. to provide important services that otherwise would not have been available. Over this decade, and ending with the 1997 Ball at the Hyatt, the Krewe gave almost $100,000 to T.A.N.
While the balls appealed to a sense of posh propriety, the desire to have an entertainment event that would appeal to a larger audience led to the creation of “DecaDance” These dance events featured elaborate costumes, high tech sound, fantastic light shows, and music in the glitzy tradition of Studio 54. As with the balls, money from these events was given as charitable contributions, primarily to T.A.N.
And as Studio 54 faded from the popular imagination, it was time for a change in Krewe giving. The new strategy calls for supporting a more diverse set of charities, realizing that strong communities like Tampa Bay, have and will always have a variety of worthy causes.
In 2004 the Krewe began to raise donations and gifts for The Children’s Home, located in Tampa. While the donations were modest at first ($600 the first year), over the following two years the donations have grown to over $6000. Krewe members especially seem to enjoy using part of those funds to shop for presents for the kids.
Other charities to which the Krewe gives generously include the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, AIDS Walk Tampa, and Metropolitan Ministries. In addition, Krewe members individually support a variety of other charities, like the Children’s AIDS Foundation.
Krewe members are proud of our track record of support for the civic, cultural, and philanthropic life of Tampa Bay. Like many other worthy organizations, we will continue to strive to do more.