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Partnership With Ocean Elements Continues

22 September 2014

Sail 4 Cancer’s long standing partnership with Ocean Elements continues in Greece this summer! Tash Henderson, Administrator at Ocean Elements‘ Nidri resort, tells all about their latest – and highly successful – fundraising event in aid of Sail 4 Cancer:

“Throughout the season we have tried many different ways to raise money and awareness for Sail 4 Cancer. Week after week we were coming up with new crazy ideas which were quite often a huge hit. For instance, our ‘It’s a wipe out’ event always proves to be a great source of entertainment and fun for all ages! I mean how often is it you get to see people clambering around on paddle boards using them as hurdles and wearing buoyancy aids as nappies!!

Despite our best efforts with these events we were still coming up short for donations at the end; this was not for any lack of enthusiasm for the cause, but for the simple reason no one ever had money on them as they were all prepared to go onto the water. We tried moving the day of the event to encourage more participants, sometimes we ran extra events with the kids clubs, but the simple fact was no one was prepared to take part in a charity event during the day; we offer so much on the beach it was always clashing with something.

Then it finally hit us…a change a pace was needed. We threw together an impromptu CASINO NIGHT! We had bike guides building roulette machines out of old tyres, water sports instructors cutting up hearts and clubs as decorations and even managers putting their arts and crafts skills to work making pretend oversized playing cards! It was now a full-on mission for Sail 4 Cancer. As it came to 6:30pm and the event was due to begin, half of the staff were setting up the casino night and half were closing down the beach. We had everything ready, the blackjack table was set, as was the poker table and we even had our newly created roulette machine on the go.

The only thing now was to wait for the instructors to get ready. Now at a casino you expect people to arrive in relatively nice clothes looking smart…as you can imagine working on a beach all day in the hot sun it’s not really a theme we get to practice very often. For most of the team putting on shoes is a rarity (I’m pretty sure some don’t even have shoes anymore) so when we asked for everyone to be in their best dress we thought maybe they will turn up with neatly brushed hair a nice t-shirt or dress. So it was a pretty big surprise when all members of staff arrived in suits and glamourous dresses! We were all very excited and also a little anxious that after our hard work it wouldn’t turn out the way we had planned, I mean some of the team had even put on shoes for the occasion!

But boy were we WRONG! This night was a huge success raising nearly 200 euros for the cause! By far the largest amount of money we have raised in one night this season and maybe even last season too! To join in with the casino night we asked that people buy in with 10 euros and that would get them a free drink on entry and a bag of poker chips to play with. The hotel were soo supportive and agreed to run a discounted drinks menu for the evening so the guests benefited from that also. This was such a great night and we can definitely put it down to the time of day it ran as it gave the guests an opportunity to go back, get all the salt off and freshen up. This made people soo much more interested in joining in. It also worked out well just before dinner as everyone was ready to go out but came down to socialise and some people even arranged to go for dinner in groups!

This event was so successful to start with we decided to test our luck and see if it was just a one night thing or if we could re-run this event the following week. So we did. Now the first week we ran this event we had about 30 guests or so which about 20 of which turned up. The second week we had 45 guests in resort, this was our chance to make the night BIG! I think the moment when it was obvious we had succeeded with this was when we were burrowing around and stealing off the dealers for spare poker chips as we had run out at the buy in desk! The night had just become soo popular, we even had two week guests from the previous week that turned up again!! They just loved the event soo much the first time they wanted to join in the fun for a second time round!

Obviously it’s all well and good raising money for the cause but we also try to boost awareness where we can. So when we had not only our guests but other guests of the hotel who had no association with Ocean Elements coming up and donating more money to the cause in the 10’s and 20’s we realised this really was a true success. We offer a prize to the guest with the most chips at the end of the night; this prize is usually in the form of an Ocean Elements Cool T shirt which we sell, but it’s not about the prize at the end of the night. Most people get carried away and bet all their chips on roulette to either win big or loose it all so they can go for dinner in peace! Everyone is just happy they have had a good time!

Is this an event that we would repeat? YES! Definitely! Every week of the season? Maybe not…as fantastic as it is, one of the main attractions is the enthusiasm and excitement caused by something new. We are really happy that Casino Night has been an amazing success but it would be a shame to run it too many times and take away the special feeling that comes with it.”

Sail 4 Cancer would like to say a HUGE thank you to Tash and the rest of the team at Nidri for their wonderful support and energy. And also to those lovely guests who took part so enthusiastically!

Partnership With Ocean Elements Continues
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