What we do
We raise money for others! We have donated over $1.2 million, thanks to the support from our community and local area businesses. This year 18 charities in the Roanoke Valley will receive donations from our events! We are the ORIGINAL Party with a Purpose!
What do you get?
An evening full of good music, fun, AND the satisfaction of supporting local charities! A beautiful outdoor venue is yours to enjoy while networking with peers, meeting new people or spending time with friends! Live music provides great entertainment and we have various partnerships providing a selection of adult beverages to choose from.
$5.00 admission and proper I.D. get you into our events! Beer and wine are on sale for $5.00 a piece.
Gates are open at 5 p.m. The events run until approximately 9 p.m.
How we started (the technical bit)
First Fridays at Five was established by Barry Simmerman and Richard Beard as a way for young professionals to meet. The first event took place on August 4, 1989. 850 party goers were in attendance and in our first year, 4 charities received $1,350. In 1990, we incorporated, elected an 11-member board and expanded the season from April through October. It was clear, we were a s-u-c-c-e-s-s!
Look at us GROW!
As we continue to grow, revenues continue to pick up allowing us to distribute more funding to charities! We were thrilled to garner support in our Title Sponsor, Home Town Bank!
Originally located at Century Square Plaza, we grew quickly moving to First Union Plaza (near the City Market). We enjoyed many successful years in this location and moved to the Downtown Rail Car Lot in 2005 due to the construction of the Taubman Museum of Art. We moved to SunTrust Plaza in 2011. Unless otherwise specified, all events are held at Franklin Rd., SW, between Jefferson Street and Williamson Road. This venue provides a great opportunity for patrons to spend time in the downtown area following our events.
We remain an all volunteer board with no paid staff and we continue to grow each year; gaining record attendances and donating to more charities throughout the Roanoke Valley. We have reinvented ourselves a LOT to keep pace with the crowds, and changing times! At the end of the day, our mission is clear! We support charities and we do it well!
Molly Henry – President
David Camper – Immediate Past President
Robert Bennett – Co-Charities Coordinator
Sam Thomasson – Marketing Committee
Kevin Booker – Event Marketing & Promotions
Kent Martin – Event Entertainment/Bands
Lara Frith – Treasurer & Finance Committee
Ronnie Cassell – Security & Logistics Support
Linda Harshbarger – Secretary & Marketing Committee
Tim Boitnott – Tax Preparation & Finance Committee
Eric Amateis – Legal
Victor Gravely – Logistics Support
Mike Flanary – Downtown Liaison