Are you ready for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity's first in-person Gala in two years?! Our Hard Hat & Black Tie Gala is coming up on Saturday, April 23—and we couldn't be more excited!You'll enjoy 100+ auction items that you can bid on from home before the event and in person at the Gala. You'll experience an inspiring program hosted by local comedian, speaker, and host extraordinaire Miss Shannan Paul. And make sure to stick around for the rocking After Party with the fabulous Free & Easy Band.
For folks who can't attend in person, you can tune in to our free virtual event from the comfort of your own home (you'll need to sign up to get access—if you haven't yet, sign up now.)
Since it's been a couple years since we came together in-person for our Gala, AND because it's our first hybrid Gala, we put together a couple of frequently asked questions for folks attending in person and attending virtually.
In-Person Attendance FAQs
Where is the Gala, and where do I park?
This year we'll be at The Depot - Minneapolis (225 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55401), a gorgeous and newly-renovated event space in downtown Minneapolis. You'll enter The Depot from 5th Avenue South and park in the surface parking lot or go to the underground garage. Check out our map of The Depot for more information.
What do I need to bring?
This is a ticketless event! As long as you're registered, all you need to do is show up at the registration table and give your name. You'll also be asked to enter a credit card at registration to ensure a seamless evening of bidding high and giving generously. This will make checkout much easier for you. (Oh, and don't forget to wear your construction couture!)
What are the COVID-19 protocols?
Safety is always our top priority at Habitat. All in-person attendees must be fully vaccinated or test negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours of the event. By attending the event, you attest that you understand and will abide by this policy. Masks will be optional for all guests, volunteers, and staff. If you are sick, in quarantine, or have had a close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please stay home (refer to our guidelines on close contacts and quarantine periods).
If you need to find a COVID testing location, please visit the Minnesota Department of Health website.
What's the order of events?
- 6:00 p.m. – Social hour and silent auction (silent auction closes at 7:45 p.m.)
- 7:30 p.m. – Dinner, program, and live auction
- 9:15 p.m. – After Party featuring Free & Easy Band, games, and Habitat's famous photo booth
What's for dinner?
You're in for a treat with this sumptuous three-course dinner:
- Salad: mixed greens, roasted red and golden beets, goat cheese, caramelized onion, apple cider vinaigrette
- You'll have two options for your entree:
- Filet mignon with wild mushroom demi-glace and herb-roasted chicken with a rich jus, fingerling potatoes, and broccolini
- Saffron risotto with balsamic roasted vegetables (vegan and gluten free)
- Dessert: Flourless chocolate raspberry torte or tres leches martini, served with freshly-brewed coffee and assorted tea
We'll also have several cash bars throughout the event space. And you'll be able to purchase bottles of wine for your table before dinner at registration.
How can I bid on auction items?
Our silent auction goes live on Wednesday, April 20, so you'll be able to start bidding from home even before you arrive at the Gala! Once you're at the Gala, you'll receive instructions on how to continue bidding on your phone. Or you'll be able to bid on the tablets found next to each silent auction item. You can start bidding at home and finish up at the Gala! And be sure to check out our live auction items, which are only available for in-person attendees to bid on.
How will I check out for the evening and get my auction items?
You will be notified that you won an auction item during the dinner program. If you're bidding through your phone, you'll receive a notification of what you've won. And everyone will receive a receipt at their table.
Please plan to check out at the end of the night. This is where you'll complete your payment for any live or silent auction items you won and your donation. You'll also be able to take your auction items home with you.
Pro tip: registering your credit card at registration at the beginning of the night makes checking out so much smoother—so please don't skip that step when asked!
What if I want to pay for my donation and auction items with something other than a credit card?
No problem! You’ll still have to enter a credit card to bid or donate, but when you get to checkout, just let them know how you'd like to pay.
If you're a virtual attendee, simply go to Checkout and select “I want to pay a different way.” Then specify your payment request and we’ll contact you to process the payment. You can pay by check, stock, or a gift vehicle like a donor-advised fund. You can also split your payment and pay for just your auction items with your credit card and your donation another way. Just add it in the notes section.
What is this After Party I keep hearing about?
Once dinner is done and we've hit our $1 million fundraising goal, then it's really time to party! Dance the night away to the music of Free & Easy Band. Or grab some friends and play some of our fun party games. And don't forget Habitat's famous photo booth!
What’s the hashtag?
Look at you being all social-media savvy! It is #HardHatGala. Please share photos of your construction couture and your favorite Gala moments whether you're at the Gala or in your own home.
What is construction couture?
The signature element of the evening is the mix of formal wear and construction gear—we call it construction couture! It’s the only party in town where guests can wear Carhartt and Versace in the same ensemble. Check out some examples here.
Virtual Attendance FAQs
How do I attend the event?
You can access the virtual event by clicking here.
(if clicking the link doesn't work, copy and paste this link into your browser: https://ve.ahgive.com/ve/8C3QQSM8/signup)
When you reach the event platform, you'll create an account with our bidding and virtual event partner, Auction Harmony. You'll find everything you need right in the platform—You can bid on auction items, view the program on Saturday night, donate generously, chat with guests, and more.
We will also share the event platform page with you through our Facebook event page and reminder emails.
I attended the virtual Gala last year. Do I log in with my credentials from last year? Or create a new account?
Registrations from last year do not carry over. You must create a new account by clicking the "Sign Up" button if you have not signed in to this year's Gala yet.
When should I join the event?
- Auction bidding opens on Wednesday, April 20, at 9:00 a.m. If you're registered, you'll receive an email with auction access.
- Then, be sure to log in on Saturday, April 23 to continue bidding before the auction closes at 7:45 p.m. The pre-show begins at 7:30 p.m., and the main program will start promptly at 8:15 p.m. Simply go to the Hard Hat & Black Tie event platform and you'll be able to join the event from there. It'll be like you're in the audience!
Does the virtual event cost anything?
Nope, it’s free!
Who is this for?
Everyone! This family-friendly virtual party is great for ages 0-112.
When I tune in, will others be able to see me?
Nope. This is a one-way viewing experience. However, we encourage you to interact with Habitat and other attendees through the event chat and on social media using #hardhatgala!
I logged in to Auction Harmony and I can see the video, but when I click the buttons in the top menu it seems like nothing happens?
Just scroll down on the page. On some screens, especially smaller ones like iPads, you might not see the buttons below the video for Auction, Make a Donation, Checkout, and Learn More. Scroll down on the page and you should see them.
How do I complete my auction purchase and/or donation?
- First, you'll be prompted to enter your credit card information when you bid on an auction item or make a donation (even if you plan on using a different payment method).
- Next, you'll need to finalize your purchase(s) by clicking the "checkout" button after the auction closes (or whenever you're done if you're not bidding on anything). There, you'll see your total, including all auction items you won and your donation.
- Once you complete your purchase, you'll be emailed a receipt. If you pay by credit card, your card will be charged on Monday, April 25.
What if I want to pay for my donation and auction items with something other than a credit card?
No problem! You’ll still have to enter a credit card to bid or donate, but when you get to Checkout, just select “I want to pay a different way.” Then specify your payment request and we’ll contact you to process the payment. You can pay by check, stock, or a gift vehicle like a donor-advised fund. You can also split your payment and pay for just your auction items with your credit card and your donation another way. Just add it in the notes section.
Why did I get an email from Auction Harmony that shows a remaining balance?
After you check out, Auction Harmony sends an automated email with a receipt that shows your item(s) and/or donation as a "remaining balance." This is simply because your card (or other gift payment) won't be processed until Monday after the auction. So don't worry about it! You will receive an acknowledgment email from Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity within two weeks of the event with your total tax-deductible portion from your auction items and/or donations.
How will I receive my auction items?
Auction items will come with instructions on how to receive them. But it will likely be one of two methods:
- If it's a certificate, you'll receive it in the mail.
- If it's a larger item, there will be times for you to do curbside pickup from our headquarters in St. Paul. If you can't do curbside pickup, let us know and we'll figure out a solution. There are some items that cannot be shipped or delivered outside of the Twin Cities - these are noted in the auction descriptions.
If you have a question that wasn't answered, please ask in the comments below and we'll respond!
Special thanks to our Hard Hat & Black Tie Sponsors: