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Twestival to benefit Lee PACE Center for Girls

By Staff | Sep 1, 2009

Social media enthusiasts will join together for Southwest Florida’s first “Twestival” this month.
The event, a festival based on the popular social networking site Twitter, will bring together thousands of local tweeters to raise money for the Lee PACE Center for Girls and stimulate local business.
It begins Sept. 10 and lasts four days throughout the weekend.
More than 300 cities are participating in the global event, explained Michele Lorito-Chase, co-founder of the Social Media Club of Southwest Florida and organizer of the local Twestival.
“Our goal is to raise some funds for our selected charity while providing a social atmosphere for people to connect face-to-face,” she said.
There will be a number of local events, including an appreciation dinner and “Pace-Setters Party” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Bubba’s Roadhouse in Cape Coral and a kickoff party Friday at Icabod’s Tavern in Fort Myers.
Chris Brogan, co-author of the New York Times’ Bestseller “Trust Agents,” will headline the event Sept. 12 by discussing social media.
Throughout the weekend, tweeters and Facebook users will be asked to post about the event, sell raffle tickets and tweet about their experiences at local businesses.
They can also make direct donations that will benefit PACE.
“We are raising money, but at the same time local businesses have the opportunity to gain exposure,” Lorito-Chase said. “We will encourage the customers to tweet and post on Facebook to promote the business and all of the area businesses in Southwest Florida.”
The first global Twestival was launched in January and quickly spread to 202 cities with more than 10,000 participants.
In one day the event drew in $250,000 through events and online donations which went to providing clean water for thousands of people in Uganda, Ethiopia and India.
Organizers of the local Twestival are now utilizing the program’s successful model to benefit local causes. All of the participants in Twestival are volunteers.
All of the proceeds from the event will benefit the PACE Center for Girls, a non-residential delinquency prevention program that helps girls, ages 12-18, faced with foster care, domestic violence or drug problems.
Lorito-Chase said PACE was chosen as a benefactor after an online poll of seven local nonprofits was held.
Facebook and Twitter users voted on which organization they wanted to benefit from the festival. Out of 800 votes, PACE was voted the favorite and in second place was Destiny Diaper Bank.
Other local nonprofits will have the chance to receive donations from other Twestivals in the future, Lorito-Chase said.
For more information, visit: southwestflorida.twestival.com.