Totally Tennyson is both a fun neighborhood event and area school fundraiser. The vision of Totally Tennyson is a community event to combine fun, community and fundraising for our schools in our fantastic neighborhood full of great, local businesses. The event is owned and operated by Hoopla Inc. and monies raised through ticket sales benefit area schools. Hoopla Inc. partners with local non-profit, Invest Together, which distributes monies raised to area schools through both project grants and direct donations. Invest Together works with schools, tracks projects, helps schools forecast and plan their projects and funding needs. More about Invest Together. Hoopla Inc. also works with Tennyson Street businesses to provide destinations and food/drink/fun offerings on the night of the event, annually on the last Saturday in April.
Totally Tennyson began as a concept for a fun street party organized by local mothers in NW Denver. As popularity grew for this style of event monies raised quickly exceeded at first $10,000, then $20,000, then ultimately $40,000 in 2013! Our goal for 2014 is $50,000.00.
Hoopla Inc. is an S Corporation
specializing in event coordination located in NW Denver. Totally Tennyson is a
registered trade name owned by Hoopla Inc. Our non-profit partner Invest Together is a fiscal agent of Earth Force.
Clockwise from top left
Kristen Speth Producer
2010 The seeds of this great endeavor were planted in 2010, in nearby Highlands Square, longing for a fundraiser that was actually FUN, a group of neighborhood moms, who called themselves the Giving Gals, organized a luau-themed event called the Hawaiian Highlands Pub Crawl with ticket sales supporting schools in the area as well as showcasing local businesses. Elementary schools in the area were invited to participate by sending a volunteer to meetings to help organize the event and four schools joined in. The goal was set to sell 250 tickets at $20 each. The event was extremely well-attended with over 600 tickets sold, raising over $12,000. This money was divided equally among the four participating schools, and word of mouth spread throughout the neighborhood. Soon, businesses on Tennyson Street were asking when we would organize a similar event for them.
2011 The founders set off to Tennyson Street to create a larger, longer, and more encompassing event, bringing attention to this thriving business improvement district on the eve of major street construction and closures scheduled for the summer of 2012. The schools in the area were once again contacted and this time eight signed on and organized a one-of-a-kind, ‘80s-themed event on Tennyson Street called Totally Tennyson. One founder said “if we sell 1,000 tickets we’ll raise over $20,000” and everyone laughed and thought she was crazy. This event was a pub-crawl that went “back to the future,” and ticket holders were all about break dancing, glam rock, jazzercise, and neon fishnet stockings. The ‘80s never saw a better party! 1041 ticket sales later and over $21,000 raised we knew this team was on target and we had a loyal following and started planning the 2012 event almost immediately. With new logistics such as IRS reporting, insurance, and liability required, a restructure was needed to address staffing, the event, and the method by which schools received funds.
2012 Despite a tough summer of extended construction and missed deadlines, and the effects of the economic turn-down hitting our cherished neighborhood, Tennyson Street was experiencing a resurgence with new businesses opening monthly and several scheduling their grand opening with our event. This year also brought a partnership with new, local non-profit, Invest Together, a 501(3)c non-profit that operates under Earth Force, a National non-profit youth organization that empowers kids to help solve local environmental problems. We also had our first corporate sponsor, Leprino Foods, a global food company headquartered right on 38th Avenue in Denver. Totally Tennyson was well-known, and was an even bigger and better success with over 1400 attendees. $30,000 was raised and this time Totally Tennyson was able to support 12 schools in North West Denver, including middle and high schools. Tennyson Street businesses continue to enjoy the influx of new customers and event attendees are thrilled to have an easy and walkable way to support schools and local businesses alike. We began to also draw guests from outside of our neighborhood and show them the tasty, unique and delightful offerings of Tennyson Street and to have schools benefit through a fundraising event that is unlike any typical school fundraising event.
2013 The biggest and most successful TT to date raised a staggering $46,000, introduced a silent auction managed by Invest Together and although we added more schools, each of the 14 participating schools received a record breaking sum of $2700.00. International Cheese Corporation, Leprino Foods, headquartered here in NW Denver, sponsored the event at a headlining level, while 9 News became our top media sponsor. 6 Million Dollar Band, a premier Colorado 80s’ cover band, agreed to play at the Oriental Theater, drawing hundreds more to the event. We also got the attention of Westword which supported the event with promotional assistance.
2014 We ultimately could not disappoint our fans and followers and will again bring this event to Tennyson and offer the fundraising opportunity to our neighborhood schools. This year we expect our audience to grow once again and 6 Million Dollar Band will return for a longer and earlier set time. Heidi and Megan have retired as producers and look forward to attending the event as guests, we will miss them greatly and are eternally grateful for their friendship and commitment! Hoopla Inc. is contracting with some local community members to assist in executing the bulk of planning and coordinating. We are excited to offer this part-time employment opportunity within our community. To make this years event a reality, we have restructured how the schools participate and interact with our planning and working closely with us, directly sell their own tickets and have, for now, eliminated the tedious and time consuming meetings.