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Why We Give Back

Posted: 7.09.12
Category: In The Community

Our mission as a company is to create beautiful yet functional, comfortable settings where people at an event can meet and connect on a personal level. It only makes sense that our philanthropic efforts follow the same mission.

This month we are involved with two exciting projects. One is the NACE Experience! for which we are an Executive Partner which means we support NACE during their conference as well as NACE University, Community and Connections and much more.

It just so happens that the NACE Experience! is happening at the same time, in the same city as an ongoing effort of the St. Bernard Project to help rebuild the houses (and lives) of victims of Hurricane Katrina who are still without shelter. Joining them last year was a new organization of which AFR is an anchor sponsor – Event Pros Take Action.

Started by Susie Perelman and Stacey Mehalik of Mosaic Inc. in Pittsburgh, its aim is to unite event professionals in causes such as this. Last year AFR gave a donation of thousands of dollars in hard goods -- sofas, chairs, beds, tables, flatscreen TVs and more, as well as our time. This year we are doing the same, plus we gave a donation of $20,000. This donation covered the building materials needed to rebuild a home for Shelley Rose and her family.

On July 16 I’m traveling to New Orleans again to shed blood, sweat and tears of joy with my fellow event pros (about 50 of them at last count) as we put the finishing design touches on two homes, and distribute goods to about 10 others.

It’s our hope to raise awareness of what we are doing, raise more funds for EPTA and St. Bernard Project, and get you – event pro that you are – to take action with now and in the future that will bring aid and comfort to others … it’s like what we do every day for our clients, only bigger!

Three Reasons to Give Back

  1. Building community. We do this both with the industry who we work with shoulder-to-shoulder, and with the world at large. And in the case of NOLA, we are literally building a community!
  2. It will change your life, as well as the lives of others. It’s about stepping into the bigger picture of life and realizing that no matter who we are or where we live, we all share the same strife, desires, needs, loves, sadness and happiness.
  3. It just feels good and that’s not to be taken lightly! How many things do you do in a day, week or month that really matter to someone else; that go beyond your world and make a difference? Maybe a lot. Maybe a little. But whether you are already doing good in the world, or just starting on your journey to help others, you will find one thing is always there – when you feel good about yourself, you will be surprised at how much more you have to give.

To learn more about EPTA and take part – it’s not too late this year — please visit

Anchor Sponsors

AFR Event Furnishings not only presented EPTA with a check for $20,000 this year, but provided all the furnishings for the homes, including tables, chairs, bed sets, sofas and even flatscreen TV’s. Other significant contributions were made by Larry Green of Rentals Unlimited, and Mosaic Inc.

2012 Donating Companies (to date)

  • A-1 Tablecloth
  • American Turf & Carpet
  • AFX Pro
  • Absolute CSI
  • Hospitality Connects
  • Intellievent
  • Liberty Party Rental
  • Mecca Communications
  • Panache, a Classic Party Rental Co.
  • Taste Buds

Event Pros Take Action (EPTA) is a charitable organization that provides a way for special events professionals to give back to those in need. The organization focuses on relief efforts for communities that have experienced a natural disaster and are in the process of recovering from substantial loss and rebuilding communities.

For more information on EPTA, please visit or contact Susie Perelman or Stacey Mehalik at 412.562.2800 or /

For more information on the National Association of Catering Executives, visit or NACE or 410.290.5410; media contact David Harrison at 410.843.3869 or

By Tricia Schmitt

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