Ben Steel, our Music for Me Fine Committee Chair, brought this event to life four years ago (pictured with wife, Lindsay, above). Ahead of our 4th annual benefit concert on Friday, April 26th at the Stockroom in downtown Raleigh (tickets available here), we asked Ben to share how all of this got started, what he hopes to see in 2019, and why Music for Me Fine matters to our nonprofit’s ability to fulfill our mission of serving children and families navigating a medical crisis.
1) Where did the idea of Music for Me Fine come from?
We suggested and debated many ideas as to what Me Fine’s second signature annual event could be. Organizing a concert seemed like a great way to overlap a lot of things that I love: highlighting local musicians; serving high quality food and local beer; inviting in sponsorship partners and volunteers and doing such an event in a unique space felt like a recipe capable of success. We wanted this to be done in a casual, less formal setting; it felt like a great opportunity to introduce a new crowd to Me Fine and plug them into our mission and other events throughout the year.
2) How has this event evolved since Year 1?
A lot has changed as this event has grown from fewer than 100 attendees the first year to over 250 guests in 2018. Each year the event has grown by over 50% and that wouldn’t be possible without our sponsors, volunteers, and attendees coming back year after year with more help, ideas, and support.
We held our first three Music for Me Fines at All Saints Chapel, a downtown Raleigh gothic chapel built in 1875 that is typically used as a wedding venue. We sold out of tickets early in 2018, so we knew it was time for a larger space.
This year we are hosting at The Stockroom at 230 (on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh). We’re expecting 375+ guests and have added a VIP reception for our top sponsors and key partners.
3) What is the significance of this event in terms of the Me Fine Foundation being able to carry out its mission?
Over the first three years, this event raised more than $100,000 collectively. More importantly, Music for Me Fine introduced hundreds of new faces and families to our commitment to provide hope through emotional support and financial assistance to families whose children are receiving care in our partner hospitals. To effectively carry out our mission as the organization grows, it is critical to educate our community on the need that Me Fine helps support, and to fuel the organization any way possible to help more families in crisis.
Last year, Me Fine provided more than $85,000 in direct financial assistance and more than $73,000 through in-kind support to hundreds of families at UNC, Duke, and WakeMed Children’s Hospitals. Music for Me Fine contributes more than 15% of our annual revenues to ensure our programs can meet the ongoing needs of families.
4) What are your hopes for the 2019 benefit concert?
We hope nearly 400 folks come downtown on April 26 to tap their feet and raise their glasses to Tonk and New Reveille – and in doing so help raise over $75,000 in one night for the children and families Me Fine serves. Proceeds from this event provide the responsive financial assistance and emotional support to pediatric patients, siblings, and caregivers in our partner hospitals each and every day. Additionally, this event provides a chance for new and seasoned Me Fine supporters to meet each other and feel a stronger sense of connection to this community of care.
5) How can people get involved with this event?
We want folks to come – and return year after year – with coworkers, friends, and family members and just have a great time for an incredible cause. We welcome new ideas. People can bring in new corporate partners and sponsors, and find ways for individuals and companies to get plugged in with Me Fine, not only for this night but throughout the year.
You can find more information and purchase tickets to our 2019 Music for Me Fine at musicformefine.com.