dashTHIRTYdash seeks sponsors, donations for Sept. 29 fundraiser to assist T-P employees and contractors

NEW ORLEANS, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012 – dashTHIRTYdash, the non-profit fund established to financially assist hundreds of Times-Picayune staffers, freelancers and contractors who will lose their jobs or much of their livelihood when the newspaper ends daily publication Oct. 1, is seeking sponsors and donations for a Sept. 29 patron party and fundraiser.

Times-Picayune downtown newsroom as of July 25, 2012. One out of every two people in this photo – along with employees in the newspaper’s five suburban bureaus – will lose his or her job on Sept. 30, 2012.

“Black, White & Read All Over,” a benefit for the fund and commemoration to the daily Times-Picayune, begins at 4:30 PM, with a patron party hosted by Rio Mar Seafood, 800 South Peters St. Patron ticket levels are:

  • Pulitzer Prize (two each won by The Times-Picayune in 1997 and 2006) – $1,000/couple
  • Selden Ring Award (won by The Times Picayune in 1995) – $500/couple
  • George Polk Award (won by The Times-Picayune in 2005) – $250/couple

At 6 PM, the evening moves to The Howlin’ Wolf, 907 South Peters St., for the $30/per person general admission party. Details on purchasing tickets will be announced next week. All money raised will go directly to Times-Picayune employees, freelancers and contractors who lose their jobs or significant portions of their income as a result of the end of daily publication, minus staff costs for The Howlin’ Wolf event and a 2% fee being paid to the fund’s 501(c)3 sponsor, the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans, which is also providing financial oversight. All contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.

Many Times-Picayune employees have spent significant portions of their working lives at the newspaper and will face considerable challenges securing new employment at this stage of their careers, particularly if they want to remain in New Orleans. Even if they choose to pursue jobs with newspapers in other communities, they will confront tough odds: in the past five years, U.S. newspapers have eliminated almost 40,000 jobs, or more than 11% of total industry employment, according to Paper Cuts, the recognized industry source on newspaper layoffs and consolidations.

Sponsorships for Black, White and Read All Over are available at the following levels:

  • Front Page, $25,000 – Notably featured in all promotional materials (including news release, and printed and online materials) and prominent introductions/mentions at the event. Includes 10 patron party tickets at the $1,000 (top) level (admits 10 couples), along with associated patron party premiums and 20 general admission tickets to the Howlin’ Wolf party.
  • Metro, $10,000 – Notably featured in all promotional materials (including news release, and printed and online materials) and prominent introductions/mentions at the event. Includes six patron party tickets at the $1,000 (top) level (admits six couples), along with associated patron party premiums and 12 general admission tickets to the Howlin’ Wolf party.
  • Money, $5,000 – Inclusion in promotional materials and introductions/mentions at the event. Includes four patron party tickets at the $500 level (admits four couples), along with associated patron party premiums and eight general admission tickets to the Howlin’ Wolf party.
  • Living, $2,500 – Inclusion in promotional materials and mentions at the event. Includes four patron party tickets at the $250 level (admits two couples) and eight general admission tickets to the Howlin’ Wolf party.
  • Sports, $1,000 – Inclusion in promotional materials and mentions at the event. Includes two patron party tickets at the $250 level (admits two couples) and four general admission tickets to the Howlin’ Wolf party.

Please contact Times-Picayune alum Rebecca Theim at 702-622-8154 or rebecca at rebeccatheim dot com regarding sponsorships.

dashTHIRTYdash also is planning both live and silent auctions, and is seeking items and/or experiences (a weekend in a French Quarter B&B, VIP ride on a Carnival float, dinner by a New Orleans chef, etc.) to award to high bidders. Please contact Times-Picayune alum Sheila Grissett, 504- 952-1945 or sheilagrissett at gmail dot com regarding auction items.

Individuals, companies or organizations wishing to donate to dashTHIRTYdash may make credit card donations online at https://donationpay.org/dashthirtydash or send checks payable to the Contemporary Arts Center, but in the memo line of the check, please write DashThirtyDash Fund. Checks should be mailed to the Contemporary Arts Center, c/o Glenn W. Gruber, Associate Director/CFO, 900 Camp St. New Orleans, LA 70130. Again, contributions are tax-deductible.

New Orleans-areas restaurants, bars or other businesses interested in hosting individual benefits or donating proceeds from sales of products or services, or making in-kind contributions to the Sept. 29 event fits should also contact Rebecca Theim.

About dashTHIRTYdash

dashTHIRTYdash is a fund to financially assist employees and contractors of The Times-Picayune slated to lose their jobs or a significant portion of their income Sept. 30 as the newspaper abandons daily publication. The Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans is serving as the fund’s fiscal agent, which makes dashTHIRTYdash contributions tax-deductible. The fund also is benefiting from the professional expertise of CAC’s Accounting Services Program, which serves New Orleans-area nonprofits.

The designation “-30-” historically was added by journalists to the end of their reports to indicate “end of story.” But on June 12, 2012, -30- took on a new meaning in New Orleans, as Times-Picayune staffers used it on Facebook and other social media to simply yet powerfully signal that they were among the roughly 200 staffers who will lose their jobs as the 175-year-old, Pulitzer Prize-winning paper pivots to primarily digital distribution.

dashTHIRTYdash is inspired by the post-Katrina “Friends of The Times-Picayune,” which was created in 2005 by four newspaper alumnae. That fund assisted employees across the newspaper who lost their homes or suffered serious financial losses after the storm.

dashTHIRTYdash is on the Internet at http://www.dashthirtydash.org, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Dash30DashNOLA and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Dash30DashNOLA.

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