Immunize Nevada Virtual Celebration Raises Nearly $15,000
December 18, 2019 (Reno, Nev.) – Converting two regional live events into one statewide virtual event helped Immunize Nevada celebrate the importance of vaccinations while also raising nearly $15,000 for the non-profit organization.
Two separate Big Shots breakfast events had been scheduled for Reno (December 6) and Las Vegas (December 13) to celebrate the people and organizations that help keep Nevada healthy through vaccinations. A few weeks before the Big Shots events were scheduled, organizers were informed by the venues that participants in the vocal anti-vaccination movement had begun online harassment of both venues, prompting concerns of demonstrations at the events.
“We knew that subjecting our attendees and our venues to possible harassment was not in keeping with our goal of celebrating their contributions,” said Immunize Nevada Executive Director Heidi Parker. “Further, we had no interest in giving anti-science voices an opportunity to spread their caustic message.”
CNN recently reported about how incidents of bullying and harassment are happening on social media, and according to a news story on NBC, anti-vaccine extremists are taking their fight to new and often dangerous levels. “Bullying and harassment by anti-vaxxers is happening locally, and unfortunately, we’re confronted daily with this reality,” Parker said.
After consulting with board and staff members, legal advisors, and communications professionals, the Immunize Nevada team made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person events. Instead, they hosted one statewide virtual event on Friday, December 13 from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m., enabling people to participate from the comfort of their phone or computer.
The on-line event reached more than 20,000 people across four social media platforms, celebrating Immunize Nevada and statewide vaccination heroes, while also raising $14,726 to help the non-profit organization with their mission of educating Nevadans of the importance of vaccinations in maintaining community health. “Funds raised from Big Shots will provide no-cost vaccines to those in our community with the highest need,” explained Parker. “These include families without insurance, students at Title 1 schools, community members experiencing homelessness and senior citizens.”
“As always, we remain undeterred in our commitment to public health,” said Immunize Nevada Board Chair Bethany Sexton. “We’re more determined than ever to find new and creative ways to circumvent the efforts of vocal anti-science agitators. Because their voices should never overpower facts.”
The event was made possible through the support of Renown, Community Health Alliance and Nevada State Immunization Program, as well as other sponsors and donors.
For more information about Immunize Nevada and their mission to ensure that people across Nevada can access vaccines, healthcare, and other resources they need to stay healthy, visit www.immunizenevada.org.