#HoHoTO 2008 – Toronto Twitterers Give Big to the Daily Bread

18 Dec ’08

Monday night a group of us held a party at The Mod Club for over 600 of our closest friends. We raised $25,000 and over a ton of food for the Daily Bread Food Bank. The whole party was streamed live to the Web. We called it #HoHoTO.

And we did it all in less than 2 weeks. Using Twitter.

For a moment after I woke up the next day I wondered – did it even happen at all? It seemed to come together and pass *so* quickly. Well, yes it did happen:

Joey was there. Andrew was there. And many of our other friends were there too. There was a lot of dancing. *A lot*.

And while the frenzy has now subsided, and Jay Goldman, Lee Dale and the rest of the all-nighters have now gone home, for a while #HoHoTO seemed to be all that any of our friends were doing or talking about.

DJs Duarte Da Silva and Ryan Taylor presided. We played video messages from a whole bunch of tech and Toronto notables including David Miller, the Mayor of Toronto; Biz Stone (a founder of Twitter); Tara Hunt; Nora Young and the rest of CBC’s Spark team, and many others (much love to Michael O’Connor Clarke for making those videos happen). We also streamed twitters to screens in the Club – you can see an example here (and yes, the DJs did rickroll #HoHoTO).

How did we do?

@meghatron: Had a blast at #hohoto. Now in post-afterparty decompression, although it sounds like some of you are still trooping on

@RohanJayasekera: Happy to have been at #hohoto till the very end. OH “best party ever”. Well done, all organizers!

@Igniter: goodnight to all the #hohoto folks – great night – great thanks to all who contributed and created!

@remarkk: I absolutely LOVED #hohoto Best manifestation of the amazing tech/media community of Toronto that was given life by @davidcrow and Barcamp

@larrylarry: FBstatus: Had an awesome time at #hohoTO and am glad we raised so much money for Daily Bread Food Bank!

@robtyrie: #hohoto that was one great Toronto party…. best, can’t wait for the next @rhh…. we’re in

@charlesfinley: #hohoto was so much fun!

@emenel: Arriving home after #hohoto – amazing night

@Evendir: What a night, already can’t wait for the next #hohoto! My dancin’ feet may have recovered by then

@rlangdon: Oh, what a night! #hohoto

@OliverRanch: @photojunkie You did a great job at #hohoto have photo of me and my beautiful daughter, thank you so much

@astroboy: Tired. Friend did not answer the door as planned. Heading back to Barrie. #hohoTO was AWESOME!!!!

@MichelSavoie: Finally home from #hohoto! Going to bed. I have to be up in 4 hours. Eugh. Had an amazing time with @ilovecpstyle and @rlangdon

@scrawledinwax: Thanks much to the #hohoto team. Amazing! Even a wallflower like me met people and had a great time (and, erm, got a little toasted).

@larrylarry: Too much fun at #hohoTO i must now pass out :)

@boyreporter: had fun at #hohoto and now has a few more fashion blogs to add to the old RSS reader

@JBreckenreid: http://hohoto.ca/ was fun! Yeah! I am inspired

@nicopop: Attendees, sponsors, and especially planners (!), of #hohoto should sleep well tonight. Yay!

@fuzzz: Can you imagine the trouble we could get in if #HOHOTO was on a Friday or Saturday night?

@paul_henman: is heading home after#hohoto – lots of fun!

@davefleet: Fantastic night at #hohoto last night. Congratulations to all the organizers – you pulled-off an amazing feat

@traderzed: Good morning. Sort of. #hohoto was pretty fn awesome. Was dancing until 1am with @ksavo <3

@cherylmckinnon: OH My God! Why does this morning of all mornings need to be the monthly office fire alarm test. Ow my head #hohoto

@bbuset: What a beautiful morning – but could someone please turn down the brightness #hohoto-aftermath

@josephdee: #hohohungover :) #hohoto

@lorikong: @photojunkie Thanks again for the wonderful memories from #hohoto p#hohohotobooth! You’re truly an amazing photographer!

@krisreyes: #hohoto great time at the Mod Club, so proud that a small group of people organized such a cool event, for a good cause so quickly!

@irisng: #hohoto 2009 should be on a Friday or Saturday so we can all recover the next day instead of being walking zombies at work

@dpjanes: Breaking news: #hohoto causes 1 million dollars in hangover related damage to the Canadian economy.

@astroboy: I am thinking that today has turned into a day off for me. I’ve yet to do *ANY* actual work thus far. Still enjoying the post #hohoTO glow!!

@dwf: Thanks to #hohoto, today is probably going to be one of the least productive (Tues)days in Toronto tech industry history

and my personal favourite, from co-organizer Michael O’Connor Clarke (from whom a remarkable number of our accomplishments came):

@michaelocc: Think I’m still in mild shock. #hohoto

Me too.

Ryan has an amazing wrap-up video on the party. And Michael has a great wrap-up post.

There will be lots of photos about #HoHoTO posted over the next few days. Many of them will incriminate people you know. A lot of them will be here and here.

Lots of the pictures were taken by one of the team – Rannie Turingan set up the p#hohoto booth and took pay-what-you-can photos of our guests – and pay what they could, they did. Here are his shots (this one’s near the end of his pics).

Here’s one of my favourite pictures – taken by our friend Heather Williams – that’s Calum McGuigan of the Daily Bread Food Bank accepting the cheque.

Our guests came with money and food and left with great memories and hopefully a lot of pride over what they helped accomplish. People gave very generously – many made cash donations to the Daily Bread Food Bank while they were buying their tickets.

And we had *fantastic* sponsors – really decent folks who put their hands up right away – you can see who they are at the site.

And finally, here are the people who put #HoHoTo together:

Leila Boujnane – CEO, Idée Inc.
Alexa Clark – Managing Partner, Plethora Press
Ryan Coleman – Chief Community Evangelist, VizThink
Duarte Da Silva – Senior Manager, Communitylend.com
April Dunford – Director, Incubation Marketing, Nortel
Peter Flaschner – Founder, The Blog Studio
Sheri Moore – Partner, Creative Director, MCC Planners Inc.
Michael O’Connor Clarke – Vice President, Thornley Fallis Communications Inc.
Michael Penney – El Presidente, Afterlight Films
Michele Perras – Manager, Mobile Experience Innovation Centre
Corey Reid – Chief Cat Herder, FreshBooks
Ryan Taylor – Goldsmith, Adventurer, The Fair Trade Jewellery Co.
Rannie Turingan – Photographer, photojunkie.ca
Elena Yunusov – Founder, communicable.ca

I’ve written already about the wonderful chemistry we had as a team and how important being generous with each other was to this success.

But what I didn’t say was how genuinely decent everyone on that list is, and how proud I feel to have been part of this team.

See you next year!

Update: And when it was all over, they called in the Army.

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