The free ticket allocation program has been developed and improved based upon advice that we have received from our members. Constructing a truly fair and equitable system for allocating and distributing a limited number of tickets is not a simple matter, and we will work to continue to shape the program in ways that best meet the needs of our local military. In order to insure that the process is fair and equitable, without favoritism, all ticket allocations are recorded and can be audited by the organization’s board at any time. In order to maintain the integrity of the program, and in fairness to military personnel, their families and the donating venues, we seek to avoid even the appearance of favoritism. In terms of ticket allocation priority, this is a program where an enlisted member new to the program can easily “outrank” a flag officer.
Q. How does ParadeRest allocate tickets? Does anyone get preferential treatment?
A. Our goal at ParadeRest is to get the most amount of members to the most amount of events. In this way we try to prioritize ticket allocation to those who have not experienced ParadeRest events before. ParadeRest does not make its ticketing decisions based on branch, rank, or any other factor of the member, other than whether the requester has received tickets in the past. If we have a limited number of tickets to a popular event and one new member requests two tickets while another new member requests five, there is a greater likelihood that the smaller request will be honored.
Q. Which events are most popular?
A. UVA Football, UVA Men’s Basketball, and Paramount shows receive the largest amount of requests. Requests may be in the 100’s while ParadeRest may have less than 10 tickets for a given event. For these popular events the best way to receive tickets is to request a lower number of tickets.
Q. How many tickets has Paraderest distributed?
A. Since its inception in 2009, ParadeRest has offered more than 7,500 free tickets to area events. ParadeRest currently has over 1000 active members and has given over 4000 tickets in the past 3 years. This has been made possible by our generous donors and our members.
Q. Do you require military personnel to attend in uniform?
A. No, whether or not you attend in your uniform is completely your decision. There is no uniform requirement for any of our events.
Q. If I receive free tickets via Paraderest, will I also receive free parking?
A. No, there is no system in place to waive the costs of parking for ParadeRest members.
Q. Will attending less popular events hurt my chances of receiving tickets for bigger events?
A. No, ideally, we’d like for all of our members to be able to attend as many event offerings as they would like. However, as we try to accommodate for new members and those who have never received tickets, we try to prioritize for them.
Q. Are seats located randomly throughout the stadium, arena or theater, or are they distributed from a block of seating?
A. Whether you request two seats or more, we are almost always able to provide them together, so that you are able to sit with family members. Generally, the entire block of ParadeRest tickets is provided for a certain seating area. Not only will you be able to sit with your family member, but you also likely will be sitting near other local military and their families. Our ParadeRest members have provided countless stories of new friendships that have arisen from being seated next to another ParadeRest member.
A few years ago, I was stationed overseas for six months, and returned to Charlottesville the day before a UVA basketball game. I appreciated that I was able to contact you by email. As a result, my first evening out in Charlottesville with my two boys was through ParadeRest tickets. Really terrific! We will never forget that evening or the great UVA basketball win at JPJ. I now have season tickets to the basketball games. If a special request were to come in similar to mine, how could I donate my tickets for a special occasion game like the one that I enjoyed?
Q. Can individuals and businesses donate tickets to ParadeRest?
A. We do have the ability to distribute tickets that individuals and businesses donate for sports and other special events. Please contact us at email@example.com if you or your business would like to make a particular ticket donation to a specific event for ParadeRest to distribute to our members.
Q. Why haven’t I heard back about my ticket request yet?
A. To ensure that the same members aren’t receiving priority for all our events, approvals are not made at the time of request, but rather at the stated deadline when all requests are in. If in August a member were to request ten tickets to each home football game, there would be no opportunity to serve the largest number of members. Our application deadlines allow time for more of our members to figure out their schedules to ensure they will be able to attend the events. For more popular events we will attempt to approve ticket allocations as early as possible and for less popular events we may wait longer to receive more requests from members who have applied less frequently. We try for all events to give decisions back at least a week in advance. We ask that members don’t request tickets too far in advance if they are unsure of their schedules for the day of the event. Also, please request tickets at least 48 hours in advance of our open event dates (i.e. for those venues with continuous availability for ParadeRest members) in order to give us time to ensure that the venue can process the tickets for you.
Q. When/how is the best way to contact ParadeRest?
A. Parade Rest’s day-to-day operations are run by a small number of students at the University of Virginia. Due to this, work hours may sometimes be unpredictable, but our workers will do their best to always have someone stationed in the office for at least a few hours each day. Sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org is always the preferred mode of contact and provides a record so we can be sure to provide a timely response. The best times to call the office are Monday and Wednesday mornings between 9:30 am and 11:30 am at (434) 234-9795.
Q. If I am allocated tickets, why should I contact ParadeRest if I am unable to go to an event I received tickets for?
A. If an approved member does not attend an event for which they are approved this hurts the program in two ways
1. Our venues keep track of no-shows for events. If ParadeRest members repeatedlycommit to receiving tickets and then do not show up for events, our venues reserve the right to not donate to the program any more, which hurts all of our members
2. The tickets could have been used by other military members and their family members.
We understand unforeseen events may occur that require cancellation, but ask that we be contacted no matter how close to the event time if you will be unable to attend the event by emailing email@example.com. If you are allocated tickets and cancel them at least 72 hours in advance, you will not lose your level of priority for a future event.
Q. Why must I use the Spotlight system instead of calling/emailing to request tickets?
A. It is our policy to use the spotlight system for a variety of reasons:
1. It allows us to protect against fraudulent requests. Our Spotlight members are all approved military members who have been checked by our staff. To ensure our tickets are only being provided to these members its easiest to use this system
2. The Spotlight system allows us to keep track of statistics accurately to ensure that the greatest possible number of members are receiving tickets. It also allows us to better understand the popularity of our events to pursue more tickets for our members
3. It’s the most efficient way of contacting members, organizing tickets, and ensuring that tickets are properly delivered to you at our venues’ Will Call windows.
Q. Is ParadeRest a non-profit charitable organization?
A. Yes, ParadeRest is an organization that has always operated as a non-profit 501(c)3. In the past, donors contributed to the Research Strategies Network “doing business as” (DBA) Parade Rest. The RSN is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that values the contributions of military personnel and recognizes the sacrifices of their families. As of 2016, ParadeRest has achieved its own 501(c)3 status as ParadeRest Virginia, and can receive tax deductible contributions directly to ParadeRest Virginia.
Q. What makes the ParadeRest program possible?
A. Generous venues and individuals donate tickets and/or funds in direct support of ParadeRest. ParadeRest is in contact with eligible military personnel, veterans and their families, and veteran organizations within our community, allowing ParadeRest to distribute tickets to those military service-related persons in our community who can benefit.
Q. Is the ParadeRest program independent of the University of Virginia?
A. Yes, ParadeRest is independent of the University of Virginia. Though ParadeRest is supported in part by the University of Virginia and its leadership, it operates as a result of collaboration among local community entities, including the University. Further, University of Virginia students continue to be involved in assisting in the administration of ParadeRest and its programs. The University of Virginia Alumni Association provided access to its facility and veteran-related information for our students conducting the “Finding the Fallen” Project.
Q. Where does my donation go and how is it used?
A. Your contribution directly benefits local military personnel and their families by procuring tickets to desirable events. In doing so, our local community conveys gratitude for the sacrifices of those serving in the military and their families. Your donation helps support history projects such as “Finding the Fallen” and “Nickel for your Story.”
FOR VETERANS, MILITARY PERSONNEL AND THEIR FAMILIES
Q. Can any veterans, military personnel and their families, participate in the program?
A. Yes. Veterans and their dependents who have recently served and will most benefit from a community welcoming them home are given highest priority.
Q. If I’m a veteran, can my family go to an event if I am overseas or otherwise unable to attend?
A. Yes! Local military support organizations, such as Blue Star Families, have referred many dependents of deployed military personnel. We have found this aspect of the program to be very meaningful for deployed military personnel.
Q. If I request tickets, is my personal information sold, given out or otherwise circulated to other businesses, venues, or the public?
A. No, your personal information is kept confidential and is for ParadeRest purposes only. Not even the venue that donated the tickets gets more than a name to be used at the “will call” (box office).
Q. Can military personnel arrive at a ParadeRest event without needing to uniform?
A. Yes. You are invited to attend the event in whatever attire you are most comfortable. We have found that performers are quite moved to learn that guests of ParadeRest are attending their performances. Although some performers acknowledge this gratefully from the stage, military personnel and their families are not expected to publicly respond to those acknowledgments. The only hope and expectation of ParadeRest is that military personnel enjoy the show!
Q. How much of my contribution goes to local military vs. national veterans organizations?
A. At ParadeRest, we focus on our veteran and active duty local needs within central Virginia, whether they involve donation of tickets to area Virginia venues, interviewing local veterans for our Nickel for Your Story Library of Congress Project or identifying Albemarle and Charlottesville military personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice in wartime throughour “Finding the Fallen” project .
Q. What opportunities are there to volunteer to assist in ParadeRest projects and events?
A. Volunteers who serve as interviewers have been essential to the success of our “Nickel for Your Story” project and assisting with running events that we have sponsored. Other opportunities include contribution of time and effort towards UVa’s Military Appreciation Day football game each fall,