Successfully planning a large event takes a lot of time, careful attention to detail, and enlisting the help of others. One item that typically doesn’t make the list: sustainability.

One organization saw the importance of including sustainability and put it at the top of their guest list. The Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park was incorporated in 1995 and is “dedicated to the enrichment of our community through support of the arts, Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead and the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.”


On June 25, 2016, they held their annual fundraising event, Stems: A Garden Soiree at The Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. The event sustains The Foundations and provides grants to the community, much of which is used to support city art programs and to enhance the guest experience at Deanna Rose and the Arboretum.


Celebrating their 9th year of Stems, guests were entertained by two bands, dancers, artists, fireworks, and a photo booth as well as featuring over 20 local restaurants and offered fine wines and beers.

Photo credit: Jill Grotzinger, The Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park, Development Director 

What is truly amazing about The Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park is their goal to be a zero waste event. This year they diverted 76.3% of their waste from landfills by front-end purchasing priorities and event composting and recycling.

This year marked the non-profit’s second year of commissioning Relan to upcycle their vinyl event banners to create eco-friendly tote bags. Sponsors and donors were presented with a goodie-filled sustainable tote bag as a thank you gift. Other Relan bags found their home by means of the event’s raffle.   

Furthering their impact, the eco-friendly gifts not only served to advance The Arts and Recreation Foundation of Overland Park’s goal to become a zero-waste event, they also act as branded advertising. Instead of people thinking fondly of the non-profit during a single moment in time, they will continue to think highly of them and keep them top-of-mind all year round as they “tote” their memories with them.

Sustainability is more than just a good thing to do for the environment; it is a good thing for your business. So, put sustainability at the top of your list the next time you have the opportunity to plan an event for your organization by reusing materials you already own!


Looking ahead on your calendar, do you need gifts for an upcoming holiday event or fundraiser? Learn how we can make your next event unforgettable by adding a sustainable wow factor!

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