Clubs often lean on outside promotional entities such as Clubplanet and Joonbug (the latter being where this blog started) to add crowds to their nights. These promotional groups have email lists exceeding 500,000 club-age patrons who have opted in to the service, therefore stating a desire to be informed and invited to events . For a reasonable fee, the clubs can get hundreds and sometimes thousands of patrons to ensure a packed house. On New Year’s Eve, these companies buy out most venues in town, and the public is able to make an educated decision on how to get their party started right. Most places could sell out on their own, but it would really tax staff and dominate all promotional resources. By using these services, club staff can concentrate on Christmas parties and booking events for the cold winter months ahead. It’s a win-win situation that most clubs — even the high-end joints — eagerly partake in. Clubplanet’s Andrew Fox has taken the site and related companies under his Track Entertainment umbrella to new heights.
I caught up with Andrew on the eve of an event that has a special place in his heart. Between running nine different web properties, including Clubplanet.com and newyears.com and the Fearless Music TV show, he also manages the ChairScholars Foundation that enables children who are physically challenged to attend college via scholarships.
Where do you find the time? I believe as a successful business person that I have an obligation to give back and to those less fortunate, so I make the time. Of course, leveraging assets of my companies and my relationships for the benefit of others makes it a little bit easier.
How did you get involved — what was the impetus for ChairScholars? I read an article in the Tampa Tribune 12 years ago about a young boy who was the innocent victim of a drive-by shooting who, after being confined to a wheelchair, was then given up for adoption. Reading about the plight of this child and recognizing the challenges of paraplegics in low-income areas, I was moved to get involved and help those who had already suffered so much. It was at this time that I gave my first scholarship to a young child in need. Twelve years later, ChairScholars has provided 641 scholarships to children below the poverty line who are physically challenged. Our scholarship recipients have gone on to do amazing things, including participating in the Paraplegic Olympics in Beijing, and becoming lawyers, doctors, and financial advisers.
How do you make these scholarships possible? Scholarships are made possible from the generosity of friends, family, and business colleagues who support us each year during our fundraiser. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of our event, as each year, we solely rely on this one event to raise the money necessary. I’m happy to report that 96 cents of every dollar raised goes to fund the scholarships.
Tell me about your event. This is my fourth year of doing the Learning for Laughter event. The fundraiser is a comedy event hosted by Donnie Deutsch and Susie Essman . This year the event is at Hudson Terrace; it starts at 7:30pm and features open bar and food. Tickets available here. Are you at all concerned about hitting your fundraising goals this year with the economy the way it is? Like a lot of foundations, we are challenged and concerned, but it’s my hope that people will recognize the importance of helping others in tough times such as these and come out to help make a difference.
If someone can’t attend, is there another way to make a contribution? Yes, anyone interested in helping make a college education a possibility for physically challenged youth can make a donation here. Tell me a little what’s going on at Track. I know you guys just moved into 20,000 square feet of office space; I know this because my team designed it for you. We consolidated some of our acquisitions and moved all the brains into one place. We still have seven regional offices, but we wanted New York City to be our home for a long time. We were able to leverage the weak commercial market and get an unbelievable space at a even better price.