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Annual 'Swingin' by the Sea' fundraiser for the Chapman Estate to be held virtually this year

Posted at 11:07 AM, Sep 17, 2020

It's a sign of the times, "Zooming in" to meetings, classes, and now fundraisers. For those who've planned or attended fundraisers, this year the bidding on silent and live auction items will be happening from home. The impacts of COVID-19 are being felt across nonprofits as fundraisers go virtual.

For the Chapman Estate, a historic mansion that sits on a bluff in Shell Beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean, fundraising is vital to keep the mansion in good condition. The estate's 'Swingin by the Sea' event and fundraiser is going to look a little different this year. Instead of canceling or postponing the annual event, Sue Beckett, the vice president of the Chapman Estate Foundation, says the board just learned to pivot to make the event happen.

"The key thing we found out about it is, if you've done a fundraiser before, you can do a virtual fundraiser," Beckett said.

Beckett said she even attended seminars to help her prepare for the transition from in-person to virtual. It's a move the San Luis Obispo nonprofit 'RISE' had to make for its annual 'Wine, Women, and Shoes' fundraiser.

"Transitioning to virtual really was just a learning curve for everyone," Stacy Salame, the director of development and marketing for 'RISE,' said. "It really forced us to be creative and rethink the components of what we bring to the live event and how we can transition them into a virtual space and that worked for a lot of components for the live event, but obviously some of them we couldn't transition."

This weekend on September 19th, attendees will be zooming in to the fundraiser for the Chapman Estate Foundation. It's also how they'll be able to bid on auction items, too.

"The key thing we wanted to do was keep it local, give business to our businesses so we hashtagged "keep it local," Beckett said.

From catered parties at the estate to sunset dinners on the Pismo Beach Pier, the money raised from these auction items will go towards the upkeep of the estate and restoration projects.

"You know the hashtag for our 'Swingin' by the Sea' event is 'Save the Windmill,' why? Well, because it's 83 years old," Norma Gurba, historian for the Chapman Estate Foundation, said.

The impacts from COVID-19 may have changed the choreography for 'Swingin' by the Sea' but the Chapman Estate Foundation won't be sitting out of this dance.

"My philosophy is to make a plan and make it happen," Beckett said.

For details on how to purchase tickets for 'Swingin' by the Sea,' click here.