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In 2017, University of Rochester Medical Center Advancement hosted the Toast to Your Health Fine Wine Auction at a new venue, the Wegmans Organic Orchard, a pristine, rustic setting overlooking Canandaigua Lake. To capitalize on this new location and further differentiate the event from other fundraising galas in the fall, the agency developed a creative concept for the invitation that was reflective of the new venue and reminiscent of the rich heritage of wine making. In addition, it was critical that the invitation stand out among other mailings.
The designers chose a format reminiscent of a vintage booklet, complete with antiqued color photos, letterpress and copper-foil printing, and matching metal closures. Three paper stocks with different weights and textures further differentiated and elevated the piece. A leather tie and craft envelope completed the invitation package. The overall effect was one of craftsmanship, attention to detail, lake-country tradition and rural-chic elegance.
The invitation was mailed to a targeted list of 300 homes and businesses. Within two months, the entire event sold out at 300 attendees. Further establishing the prestige of the event, the 2017 wine auction netted more than $1 million, which contributed to a yearlong fundraising campaign that raised more than $5 million for the University of Rochester Medical Center Department of Orthopaedics.