We’re proud to work with some of the best vendors and clients in the event business. Today, we’re highlighting our event catering partner for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, Behind the Scenes (BTS) Catering and Events. They consistently deliver high value to our participants, flawlessly coordinate hundreds of logistics details with our event management team, and ensure that our walkers and volunteer crew are well fed and hydrated.
Do you have a personal connection with breast cancer?
BTS Catering and Events was founded by a brother and sister team. In 2000, Teresa Villa, one of the founders was diagnosed with breast cancer. In August 2001, while undergoing aggressive Chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Teresa endeavored to participate in the Komen 3-Day. Unfortunately, after a yearlong battle with the disease she passed away shortly thereafter in December 2001. Prior to this point, BTS and Teresa had been a staunch supporter of several breast cancer charities, but after her diagnosis that financial support was further expanded to several breast cancer treatment and support charities, including Susan G. Komen®. When BTS had the opportunity to become a vendor to the 3-Day® event in 2011, we jumped at the chance. Many of our crew that work on the walk today, also have a direct connection to the cause.
Tell us your favorite aspect of the event.
Our favorite aspect of the 3-Day is the moment each day that the last walker is about to finish the walk at the camp. Everyone stops what they are doing to cheer him or her on. This probably has even greater meaning to the BTS staff that participate in the catering for the event that knew Teresa, as she was among the last walker group into camp on Day 2 in 2001.
Tell us about one of your most meaningful interactions/moments with a participant on the 3-Day.
Gaby Mares, our Tour Manager the past 4 years, has made many connections with the walkers and volunteers. They have become like family members running and hugging each other upon their first meeting in each city year after year. The event creates a bond between all its participants and vendors that is hard to describe.
What has been your biggest lesson in working on the 3-Day?
We can all be thankful for our own health and appreciate the gifts that God has endowed on each one of us. You realize when being around a group, as the 3-Day organizers, participants, and volunteers, life can so easily be turned upside down by breast cancer, and you also realize the every little thing any of us can do be it volunteer or donate, or support someone battling the disease, all of this can and does make a huge difference.
Have you or someone close to you, ever participated in the event?
In addition to Teresa’s participation in 2001, in 2002 John, his wife, and a small group of friends and family participated in the walk and raised more than $30,000
How do you think your service contributes to the overall success and a meaningful experience for our participants?
Being responsible for serving food, snacks, and beverages to thousands of participants and volunteers each day during the 3-Day is a significant logistics task. But the long hours are all worth it when you see the participants flow through the line, with a smile on their face and appreciation for the high quality fresh menu that we are serving — real fresh ingredients, prepared fresh, not cooked and held in a hot box for service. The quality of the menu and efficiency of the service lines is our way of showing the participant our respect for their efforts.
In your experience, what are the five key components to a successful partnership as they relate to fundraising events?
- Communication/Honesty – this is the most important factor, to make sure that information is shared openly and honestly throughout the process, which includes constructive criticisms.
- Teamwork – making sure that all the vendors and volunteers are working together and supporting each other’s efforts.
- Innovation – it is important to keep recurring annual events fresh and exciting for the participants, which can include changes to the menu, additional camp services, changes to the route, etc.
- Efficiency – finding efficiencies by constantly evaluating one’s efforts is the key to delivering the guests a cost effective and positive experience.
- Quality – it’s easy to want to cut corners to squeeze a few extra dollars from the budget, but maintaining a commitment and focus on the quality of the product or service provided is essential to delivering a successful event that the participants will remember and appreciate.
Thank you to our partner, John Crisafulli from BTS for contributing to our partner spotlight.