Last week, something incredible happened here at Spectrum Fusion! We managed to successfully hold our very first fundraiser back on Thursday, April 18th. Our very first fundraiser, “Sip and Support: Tequila Tasting for a Good Cause” was an incredible hit!

Last Thursday, all of Spectrum Fusion’s media team members, and some members and volunteers from outside the studio, got together and worked incredibly hard to put on the very best event that they possibly could! Starting around 3pm, members like Philip Thomas, John Karl Barth, Kyle Cousins, and Lisa Streiter, who flew in all the way from Kentucky for this, got together and began setting up an incredible party venue for people from all around the city!

The fundraiser was held to continue to help support Spectrum Fusion in hiring and paying people on the Spectrum to continue doing their incredible work. Spectrum Fusion goes out of its way to hire creative adults on the spectrum and give them hands-on, on-the-job training, and to help fill out the gap in experience that people suffer between college and entering the workforce, as well as paying them an actual competitive salary. However, it’s impossible to accomplish such a thing on our own. That’s why we came up with this fundraiser: to continue reaching out to people with autism, and to continue paying them the competitive wage that they deserve.

After setting up an incredible venue, complete with decorations, silent auction items, and even a bar, the doors to the event opened at 6pm. We at spectrum fusion were thrilled to find out that the event had completely sold out! Every table in the dining hall was filled with people who were more than ready to donate to a good cause like ours.

The night opened at 6 with Kyle Cousins, Spectrum Fusion’s very own musician supreme, playing a set of Billy Joel songs with the incredible energy and fervor that would naturally come with being the leader of the Billy Joel tribute band, “Big Shot: The Billy Joel Experience.” Kyle wowed the crowd as they came in with performances of “Just the Way you Are,” “Always a Woman,” “Piano Man,” and more. The crowd also got to enjoy Margaritas and Polomas, in keeping with the night’s tequila theme, at the outdoor bar that had been set up.

A little after 6:30, our MC for the evening, Greg Groogan of Fox 26 News, took to the stage and opened the event. He spoke for a while about what we’ve been doing at Spectrum Fusion and even allowed his son, Garrett Groogan, onto the mic to talk about his new series on Spectrum Fusion’s Youtube Channel, “Literacy Corner,” where he reads children’s books to children.

With the night underway, the floor was handed to Polo Gutierrez, the president of Mercury Imports, who had graciously donated the Tequila that would be tasted for the evening. Dinner was served as he described the history and creation process of tequila, and small glasses of Tequila were served with every course of the evening, specially paired to go with each of the dishes that were served. Our guests were delighted by the experience, enjoying prime Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine donated by Hearsay restaurant, as they got to taste Tequilas unlike any they might have tasted before.

The night continued as Greg Groogan took back to the stage to open our live auction! We had three incredible items up to bid on for the live auction. A PGA VIP experience at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville Kentucky, complete with a craft bourbon tasting event, and the donator managed to get permission to donate a second experience as well. This meant that when the trip god deadlocked between two donors, both were able to purchase the vent! The second item in the live auction was a vacation to Cabo San Lucas at the tip of the Baja peninsula in Mexico, and third was a trip to the upcoming Astros vs Guardians game at Minute Maid park, where the winner would receive seats in the “Crawford Box,” right up against the field with the best view of the action! All three items sold for hefty amounts, which has done a lot to help us here at Spectrum Fusion out, so thank you very much to our generous donors, and we hope that you enjoy your trips!

Next up were the members of Spectrum Fusion themselves, who got up on stage to present three awards to people in Spectrum Fusion’s circle. J&J Ranch Productions won the Inclusivity in Film Production Award for hiring Spectrum Fusion to be the sole crew during both production and post production on their short film, “Dear Cancer” back in February. Director Ted Irving of HTV won the Excellence in Mentorship Award for his work with helping to teach and train members of Spectrum Fusion in using TV-quality cameras, sound equipment, and donating the time and experience of city hall to training our members in new tricks and techniques. Finally, ROCO, the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, won the Top Client Excellence Recognition Award for having stuck with Spectrum Fusion Studios since 2019, and for consistently partnering with us and coming back to us to create video promotions.

Finally, the silent auction drew to a close. Nearly every item in our silent auction was sold, which is thrilling. The night wound up with an encore by Kyle, who performed several more Billy Joel hits like “Angry Young Man” and “And So it Goes.”

We at Spectrum Fusion are so thrilled to have held such a successful event for everybody. We would like to thank Greg Groogan for being our wonderful MC and Polo Gutierrez for providing the tequila and the history behind it, which really helped make this event stand out. We would also like to thank Kyle Cousins for his amazing music, Lisa Streiter for her incredible work helping to set up the event, as well as painting several beautiful works of art to be put up at the silent auction, and to all those who donated items or events for our auctions. We would also like to thank all of our donors who showed up to the event and really made the night something special.

Thank you to everybody, and we can’t wait to see you at Spectrum Fusion’s next fundraiser event!

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