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That Night when a 10-Year-Old Schooled the Rest of Us about Generosity

In an evening where more than 1,200 people came together to raise over $150,000 for a game-changing healthcare organization, the most important number of the evening was a whopping 172.

 

Let me explain.

 

We recently had the opportunity to attend the 10th Annual Cirque Couture, in Las Vegas, NV. It’s one of the events that raises money for one of our favorite disruptive organizations, the Cure 4 The Kids Foundation. The money raised enables them to continue their practice of never turning a child away in their fight against rare childhood diseases.

 

Annette and Zack

The show alone was an amazing experience. Picture 250+ best-in-the-world performers and technicians from local Cirque Du Soleil companies volunteering together to stage a special evening of acrobatic and aerial acts created just for the event. Then, add in a dozen or so world-class models, dancers, and designers with over-the-top fashion that took the visual spectacle to the next level.

 

The evening also included a live and silent auction of 120+ items and a call for attendees to make donations in whatever capacity that they could.  

 

But, the number of the evening? 172. (Well, 172ish anyway.)

 

That’s about how many people reached for their wallets when one of the young performers, Zack (age 10), asked if anyone would match the $20 donation that he wanted to make. Even though the night was getting long and the performers were already in their places for the second act, Christian, the incredibly gifted auctioneer for the evening, didn’t miss a beat. He sat with Zack on the edge of the stage, took a deep breath, and announced the challenge.

 

What happened next can only be described as an avalanche of generosity. People of all ages and backgrounds started pulling cash from their wallets and passing it forward. It was so much money that the ushers were coming forward with fists full of money and giving it to Zack. As his eyes grew bigger and bigger, someone managed to give Zack a hat that soon overflowed with cash.

 

By the time the money stopped flowing (including the money carried down from the balconies), Zack was holding $3,424. That’s right, a 10-year-old raised an extra $3.4K when the rest of us thought that everyone had already given all they could. This means that he managed to get 172 people (or so) to give up 20 more dollars of their hard-earned cash and maybe even inspired people who hadn’t yet felt compelled to give.

 

So, thanks Zack. Thanks for teaching a bunch of adults that, when we give together and give from our hearts, magical things can happen. And that, my friends, pretty much sums up the entire evening.

As a game-changing disruptor, I hereby pledge to:

Pledge


• Channel my passion into action
• Harness the power of empathy
• Go “all in” and put the consumer first
• Build a league of heroes who will change the system
• Work fast and cheap, fail regularly, and never accept the status quo
• Never be OK with mild salsa