I Said RED! is the AIDS Care Service signature fundraising event for which friends of ACS hold potluck parties on or around Valentine’s Day. Guests bring only red food and drink and also bring donations to support ACS. Click here for 2008 ISR! host downloads.
What if I already have plans for Valentine’s Day?
No problem! You can host your party whenever it’s convenient for you. You can have it on the 13th, the 15th, or in the middle of March. Most of the parties are held in February.
Does it have to be potluck?
Not at all. It’s just a suggestion to make it easier on you, the host. Your party can be whatever you want it to be. Cook everything yourself, serve only red wine and strawberries – do what’s fun for you. Be as creative as you would like to be.
Can I get help hosting the party?
Yes, you may recruit a co-host, organize a party at a church or civic club, or invite your co-workers to a celebration at your workplace.
Are my expenses tax-deductible?
Donations to ACS are tax-deductible. We believe the IRS will consider the expenses of hosting a fundraising event tax-deductible. Please consult your tax advisor if you have questions.
Who will be on the cover of the invitation this year?
Celebrities who have previously appeared on the cover of I Said RED! invitations include Sister Dennis Eileen, a founding ACS trustee; the creator of the National Black Theater Festival, Larry Leon Hamlin; the Honorable Allen Joines, Mayor of Winston-Salem; Wanda Starke of WXII; and Joey Cheek, 2006 Olympic Speed Skating Gold and Silver medalist. We aren’t saying just yet who will be on the 2008 cover, but listen for a musical fanfare to accompany the announcement. The 2008 guest celebrity is Robert Moody, Musical Director for the Winston-Salem Symphony. Thank you Robert for supporting ACS!
Sounds like fun! How can I sign up?
Contact Community Relations Director Alice Gaspard at (336) 777-1376 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of our party hosts have been creative with their parties—asking guests to wear red, having a Trivial Pursuit party or a video marathon, or providing “I Said RED! Hot Chili.” The only limitation is your imagination!
Once you decide to host a party, AIDS Care Service will provide a host packet which contains invitations with envelopes, information about AIDS Care Service, index cards, and an envelope for returning donations. AIDS Care Service needs to receive from the hosts the names and addresses of the donors and the amounts of their donations, so that we can send an acknowledgment recognizing the tax-deductible nature of the gifts. Guests should write this information on the index cards provided. The cards will be used for prize drawings as well as generating receipts.
Tips for Hosts
Use this as an opportunity not only for good fellowship but also for spreading the word about ACS services and the constant need for financial and volunteer assistance.
Cut loose your imagination and encourage your guests to do the same. Decorate a shoe box (some of us remember doing this “a few years ago” in elementary school) with Valentines and a slot at the top for donations, and place it on a table near your door.
If some guests need food suggestions, you might mention “heart beet salad” and “tomato aspic in a heart-shaped mold” as well as “barbecue anything.” For those guests to whom you owe a big favor, you might simply ask them to bring a bottle of red wine.
To assure variety, the host should designate the kind of dish–appetizer, vegetable, meat, dessert, or drink–each guest is to bring. In making assignments, consider punctual people as candidates to bring appetizers and those with reputations for being fashionably late to bring desserts.
As a safeguard, hosts might want to consider having one dish of each course on hand in case someone cancels at the last minute.
You might want to enliven your party by inviting a local musician or mime. Or you might want to play up the Valentine Sweetheart connection with games and prizes.
Hosts should plan to supply soft drinks, coffee and tea, as well as plates, cups, utensils and napkins. Remember: expenses associated with hosting the event (postage for mailing invitations, food, drink, supplies) are tax-deductible. Turn in clearly identified receipts with the donations from your party to obtain documentation of your contribution.