Tuesday, September 30, 2008


No- I don't mean those beautiful flying creatures- I mean the ones that nestle deep inside and signify major anxiety. We are only 3 days away now and I am so nervous. There are still a ton of little things that need to be done- but still important things (bid sheets, introductions for the guest speakers, my speech, etc.) I was up until 2:30 last night working on the bid sheets and still have a lot left to do. It is a simple process, but it takes time because you have to describe each item, establish a minimum bid, sometimes do a promo sheet for the item and clip everything to a folder (less bulky than clipboards). I keep looking at the items and all I can think about is I hope people show up and bid- I don't want to imagine what a disaster it would be if these items don't sell.

Anyways, this needs to be a quick blog, because I have to get back to work. My goal was to get all the sheets done tonight, but I don't think that's going to happen. I was getting stressed out tonight and annoying myself because I couldn't find two hotel gift certificates, so I left a good friend a slightly wacky voicemail, she called me back and we ended up talking for an hour and a half, which was great- I totally needed to take my mind of stuff and she's always good company anyways, but I obviously didn't get any work done. I just feel not ready for Friday and that is a dreadful feeling- so I need to get ready and priority one is finishing bid sheets. I also need to slow down and think the event through- I did that many times with the date auction- visualized the event from the set up to the end and that let me think of potential problems that could arise and address them. It also helps me feel calm, because although this may sound silly- when the event happens, I feel like I've already walked through it and I know what to expect.

Well, it is 12:04, I am going back to work. I also have to find a gift certificate that has gone missing- temporarily I hope. It's the car washes gift certificate. It will turn up, because they are all in one box, but I haven't found it yet. I really feel like popcorn. That was random- I know. But I feel like eating popcorn and doing my bid sheets.

In case you were wondering, there is other stuff going on besides anniversary event work, but the main focus is Friday, that's why it is all I'm talking about- because it is basically all I'm thinking about and it is so incredibly important.
Until next time friends... P.S. I found the hotel gift certificates right after I left the dorky message.

Monday, September 29, 2008

4 Days to the Big Day

Only 4 days to go until our biggest event of the year! Can you imagine that is finally here? I can't really. I know I talked about this before in reference to the date auction, but after all this time and work, it is hard to imagine that the event is now only a couple of days away. It has been literally nine months of planning, organizing, getting donations, sponsors, special guests, musicians, balloons, our song, calendar, attendees (still greatly needed!) and everything else that went into it. It is a milestone event for Project Smile and me personally- I don't mean to brag, but I was able to get auction items that last year I only dreamed I could get. Last year, we had 41 items, this year, we have over 100. It has been a lot of time and effort and now it just needs to be a success. I'm so anxious, I can't even begin to explain.

The anxiety isn't simply about getting a lot of people to the event- it goes beyond that to the financial pressures we face. Our fundraising abilities are a little unclear right now, particularly due to the economic situation that we are all facing. When the money dries up for individuals and businesses, the effects on us are obvious and immediate- there are no grants, there are no donations. I already keep costs to the absolute minimum- I've been doing that since day 1, but that is not sufficient. We need money coming in at a fairly constant rate. So this event needs be successful to keep us on track for the remainder of the year and to make up for the donations that I already know we aren't going to be able to get. So basically, I'm extra worried for Friday. The one good news is that the Sox game isn't starting until 10pm, so people can enjoy our event without worrying about missing the game.

Tonight, I was working on bid sheets for the auction items. Lisa and Amy were working on some last week when they were helping, but there are still a lot to do. It is kind of fun actually- I enjoy looking at the items and pretending which ones I would bid on if I had money or could actually bid on things. I was also able to clear a space in the office which was a good feeling- never mind the fact the boxes with the auction items are now stacked in front of the couch, thereby creating a wonderful obstacle course, I can see carpet that I haven't seen in 6 months!

Someone made a flip remark to me recently about how I shouldn't take it personally when certain people don't attend our events or donate. Now, I don't expect everyone to attend and I surely don't expect every business to donate and of course there are legitimate reasons that people can't attend, however, it is personal. Now, I never take anything for granted, particularly in terms of Project Smile and I appreciate everyone that supports what I do. I remember what it was like when we had nothing and those feelings make you very grateful every time you have money to deposit in the bank and every time someone shows up at your event. But I absolutely take it personally when people are not supportive. I remember the businesses that ignore our requests and I try to avoid spending money there as much as possible and I remember the people that don't help- particularly those who are in a position that they could help significantly if they wanted to and I really remember those who say they are going to help and do nothing. Everything that happens with Project Smile is deeply personal.

Anyways, enough on that. Sometimes, I'm a slow blogger- it is 12:50 right now and I need to go back and work on my bid sheets. I didn't mean to take this long writing. I do want to go to bed at a decent hour. I wish these butterflies would go away- so many nerves for Friday. I'm doing everything I can to get people there, but I'm so worried that people won't show up and it will be a disappointment and we will be financially derailed and all the time spent will be for nothing. I know- I keep repeating myself and I really don't mean to be so boring. Until tomorrow friends...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wednesday Worries

So what's new? Today I was back working on getting people to our anniversary event- that was the primary focus of the day. It is going very slow, I think right now we are up to 50 people who say they are coming. Our goal is 100. It is so stressful. I don't know what else I can do except keep working the phone and sending emails and following up with people. I went to a local networking event tonight, but I don't think it was particularly productive.

It gets a little frustrating when people make unhelpful comments, particularly about getting people to the event. One woman who I told about our event shook her head when I told her the ticket price (it was too low), then on the other end, I hear comments that people aren't going to come to my event because the economy is so bad and people can't afford anything. Then I've heard other comments that the Red Sox playoff game will be on, so people won't show. Then the really helpful comment that Fridays are bad nights for people since they already have plans. I know one should just ignore comments like those, but when you're working really hard to make something successful, you just don't need the unhelpful remarks. I can't control the economy, I can't control the Red Sox play off schedule (however, I did make the event early, so people can come to my event then go home and watch the game since they don't start until 8pm), I made our ticket price as low as possible in order not to put a financial burden on people and the fact is that people can come for free- the invite says $10 donation appreciated. Most of our auction items are on the lower end, so it is more affordable. Is there really a good night for people? I chose a Friday night because last year people said that a Friday would be better because they really don't usually go out on a work night.

I know I shouldn't even be paying attention to those comments- it's just that I'm already super worried about attendance and I am so tired. I always appreciate suggestions on how to do things better, but comments on things I can't control, or just plain negative remarks are really unncecessary, particularly commenting on a ticket price that is already set and trying to suggest i don't know what I'm doing.

In other news- I was working on the halloween event too. Our flyer is approved for distribution which is great. I also need a lot more event volunteers. The group from U-Mass Lowell isn't coming back, so I need to find a replacement. We are supposed to be having a group of Best Buy volunteers coming to help, but I'm not entirely sure if they are coming and I still need more anyways. I did buy the cutest Halloween outfit last week to wear to the event- even better than my devil angel outfit last year.

Tomorrow, I need to get all the final program info to Lisa so we can get the anniv program finished. I'm also meeting with the guy who has volunteered to bring his company's LCD projector to our event and will help out as well- that is really great because they are incredibly expensive to buy and cost $150 to rent for the night which is a giant waste. It is wonderful when people see you have a problem and offer to help without even being asked. It doesn't happen very often, so I really appreciate when it does. I'm also back to work on getting people to the event- I don't want to stay out of the office for very long, because I have a lot of people to reach.

Well, that's it for tonight. I'm tired- i fell asleep for a couple of hours tonight and now I feel like I'm in a mini stupor. I really feel like popcorn- I know that's completely random, but really feel like some. I won't though- it's too late to eat anymore and I should just go back to bed. Wish me luck in my efforts to get people to the event- I need a lucky angel on my shoulder for this one. Until tomorrow friends...


Well, it is 12:24 right now and my goal is to be in bed by 12:50, so this is going to be a fast blog! I didn't want to go to bed without blogging- not that I have anything of any great importance to share, but it didn't feel right. So what's new? I was following up with people I invited to the anniversary event and inviting more people- that took a lot of time and I still have a ton more people to contact. It is going really slowly with getting people to commit to attending- I haven't reached panic mode yet, but I'm heading that way. Which reminds me, I need to follow up with some other auction items that have been promised but not yet received.

I was also finishing up with date auction things- I can't put the file away yet, because there are still silent auction items that haven't been paid for yet (I still have the items). Some people are really slow in getting back to me. I know that people are busy, but one would figure that if you bid on an auction item, that means you want it and will make arrangements to pay for it- soon. This is not necessarily true. If I don't hear back from some of these people, I will put the auction item in next week's event, because I don't want to be stuck with auction items.

In other news, I finished my second powerpoint presentation! Congratulations to me! It is a photo slideshow of the 2009 calendar photos- I think it looks really good. That is going to play during the event on a continuous loop- it has about 75 photos in it, each showing for 3 seconds.

I can't remember what else happened today. I wasn't feeling very good this morning and overslept and I haven't exercised in 4 days which doesn't help. I'm just really tired and really worried about next Friday. I know it must be boring to keep reading about how worried I am, but it is true. Success with the date auction has nothing to do with the anniversary event. It could be a wonderful event, but without people there it is a disaster.

Anyways, I need to sleep. Tomorrow morning I will be back to work on getting people to the event. I was also working on Halloween event things today and have more to do tomorrow, but the priority is next week's event. There is so much riding on that. Well, it's 12:38- I'm actually on track to be in bed at a decent hour- I didn't go to bed until 2:30 last night- way too late. Until tomorrow friends...

Monday, September 22, 2008

A New Week

It's a new week and we are now only a little over a week away from our Anniversary Celebration. So what does that mean? It means the anxiety level is right back where it was for the date auction, it's just focused on getting people to the anniversary event, which right now, is a huge problem.

However, let's get off that train of thought for a few minutes and get back to the date auction. Good news- the event raised approximately $9,000! I have added the numbers so many times and I still can't believe it is that much. I keep thinking that I made a mistake and I'm over by a few thousand. But I keep coming out at the same number. That is by far, the most money we've raised at an event. I know that compared to what other charities can raise at fundraisers, it's not a lot of money. But for us today, it is huge. In a few years from now, that will be a small fundraiser, but that day has not come yet. I am so glad that I made myself stop and really take in the event, because so much of that night is becoming a blur, but those few minutes where I really looked at everything are not a blur. That night will go down as one of the best nights of my life and I am so proud. It's difficult to explain why it means so much. 4 years ago this month, I was working on our first calendar and we were struggling for our very survival, with less than $2,000 in the bank. A date auction like this was only a distant dream. So when I looked out at the sea of people on Friday, I couldn't help but think of where we've come from and how incredibly beautiful things are when they are going so right. And I was also thinking how important it is to simply hold on and keep working- that those big, wild, slightly arrogant dreams really can come true, just the way you imagine them.

Anyways, I could go on about all that stuff forever. What else is happening? Today, I was working on finishing up date auction things. I spent a good part of Saturday calling silent auction and raffle winners and getting items out. Today, I drove the Air Tran tix up to their owner in Swampscott. Yes, I do realize there is such a thing as mail, but I didn't want them to get lost and I wanted to collect payment, so it was actually easier to drive them up there and get it done, particularly since it was $600. I'm still waiting for payment on other auction items, that is always a bit of a hassle. I've contacted everyone who participated and thanked them, filed receipts and other forms, have a few extra items to return to stores and more data from guests to be entered into Excel, but then we can close the book on the date auction until January. It's actually kind of funny not to have to think about the date auction anymore. It's been on my daily list pretty much every day since January. I don't really miss it, but it does feel a little strange.

Tomorrow, I'm back to work on anniversary event and a major push to get people to attend. It is an awesome event and really deserves a good turnout. Or, to put it bluntly- we need a lot of people to fill the room and raise a lot of money and sell many calendars. It is so difficult to get people to attend, it is very frustrating. Good news though- a really nice person has reached out and offered to help by letting us borrow his LCD projector for the event and also offered to help with his techie knowledge. I must have sounded quite pathetic in those blogs! So I am really happy about that because projectors cost a fortune to buy and are very expensive to rent as well. And, I also need someone there who can work the freakin thing at the event. Which reminds me, powerpoint experience #2 is coming up- Lisa sent me back the photo disks and I want to create a slideshow of the calendar photos to play at the event. Such creativity!

OK, it is now 1:06- was planning to have some yogurt, but think I will write my list (which is basically all about the anniv. event) and go to bed. I'm also trying to figure out why I have such a pain in my left hand and elbow- it just started tonight. I did feel pretty lousy all day, but not sick. I didn't even exercise this morning- must exercise tomorrow.

Enough rambling- I know I'm rambling when I start talking about exercise. The other thing that I forgot to mention when I was watching the date auction- I felt really lucky. Lucky that I get to have a job that I love and lucky that I get to enjoy these wonderful moments and when I saw my friends that came and my sister and her friends that helped, I felt lucky that I have people in my life that believe in what I do and really make an effort to be there. I had a scary experience a few weeks ago on a date and although I ended up being fine, it was a reminder of how quickly things can go horribly wrong and how easily it can end. In those moments, when I was so afraid that something was going to happen to me, I thought of my family and I thought of Project Smile and how there was so much more I needed to do. So, I do feel lucky when the good times are here. Until next time friends...

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Success!!! Tonight was everything I dreamed it would be. For these last nine months, when I closed my eyes and imagined what our date auction would be like- tonight was what I saw. First of all, I want to thank everyone who made it a success- from the people that sponsored, those helped recruit people to auction off, people that volunteered to be auctioned off, donated auction items, brought in sponsors, helped promote our event, the radio hosts for doing an incredible job, the people that attended, people that made donations, our great volunteers we had- everyone who participated- thank you so much. I never took any of it for granted and I so appreciate everyone who supported our event and I am so grateful.

I made sure to take a few minutes tonight and actually, really look at what was going on around me- look at all the people, everyone having a good time, donations being made- I wanted to take it all in and remember everything, enjoy the moment. It is an evening that I will hold onto forever, particularly when the dark days come. It was a dream that came true and how often do dreams come true the way you think they will? I'm so happy and relieved and grateful to everyone who made it possible- I really can't say that enough.

So how much did we bring? I'm not totally sure yet, it is approximately $7,000, but that is not a final number- so please don't quote me on that number. I need to go through everything again in the morning. I'm too tired right now to concentrate. The main thing is that everything is home safely and the credit cards were processed.

There is so much more to talk about from the date auction. I'm going to put some of my photos on the blog soon too. I'm so happy- honestly, I could cry. I worked so hard, worried so incredibly much, was so nervous about having a disaster on my hands and causing harm to Project Smile and afraid of not being able to justify all this time that was spent, but it's all good- it was worth it.

Well, I am off to bed- actually going to have a yogurt, watch more of What Not to Wear re-run and then sleep. Tomorrow, I'll sort out the revenue and enjoy the rest of the day, then it is back to work on the next event, the anniversary celebration. Thank you again to everyone who made tonight a success, it means so much to me personally and it was a big help for Project Smile, because we need the financial support drastically.
Good night friends- and it really is a good night!

Hours Away

Well, here we are- only hours away from the date auction. Nine months of work all comes down to 2 1/2 hours tomorrow. It doesn't seem real in a certain way that it is actually almost here- for so long it seemed so far away- I've worked so hard, I can't believe it is all coming down to what happens for a few hours tomorrow night. Part of me feels strangely calm, but I'm also as nervous as heck. I've tried to think of everything possible for tomorrow so that our event runs smoothly, I still have a couple of little things to do tonight, but I don't think I'm forgetting anything. We've exceeded our goal for advanced ticket sales which is good, but we do need a lot of door sales tomorrow. None of the bachelors/ettes have cancelled, our program is printed and looks awesome, the cc machine is running, I have plenty of small bills for change, gift certificates for every couple, extension cords, lamps, raffle tickets, guest list, volunteer list- I don't think I'm missing anything. One of the most important things tomorrow is to stay calm- no matter what happens, what goes wrong, as the leader, it is my responsibility not to get flustered and to keep things running smoothly.

I don't know what else to write about tonight- I had a busy day getting things organized for tomorrow, I picked up our sports items in Braintree and also stopped at Konditor Meister (the best cake place ever!) to order our Anniversary Celebration cake and then came back to work. I really am nervous for tomorrow- my face feels like its burning up. I just want things to be OK- obviously I want things to be better than OK, but I want it to go smoothly, for everything to work as it should, people to show up, donations to be made- we need this to be a success so badly. Whatever happens tomorrow, I am proud of all the work that went into it and I know that I did everything I could to plan a successful event, but that doesn't make me worry any less.

Well, since I don't have anything original to write about it tonight- I'm going to go finish up a few things, repaint my toes (must have pretty toes for tomorrow night), try on my dress to make sure I actually want to wear it (I am getting auctioned off after all!) and then bed at a decent hour.
Please wish me luck friends.... I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Calendar is Ready!

Good news today- I picked up our Project Smile calendars today and they look awesome! The print quality is fantastic- photos look great. The printer, Peacock Press in Rockland does such a good job. I always like the calendar, but this one is particularly good. All the calendar work is finally done, now the really hard part starts, selling all 1000 of them. However, it is a big help to have a really good product to sell.

So what else is new? The butterflies are ever increasing- honestly, I feel like I have a permanent stomach ache to go along with the tight chest (no, I'm not sick). I haven't exercised in 2 days which doesn't help either. Things are going pretty well for the date auction actually- we've reached our goal today for the number of advanced tickets sold, so that is good news. According to my last count, we are all set for gift certificates- I have to recount in case I missed something. I've been working on all the small things that need done for the event, there is still quite a lot to do. Yelp.com did an awesome feature on the date auction in their weekly email newsletter. I'm going to keep working on promoting the event.

Things are on the right track, so I really shouldn't be such a bundle of nerves, but I am. I'm worried that we won't get enough people there, that I will have forgotten something and that will cause a problem for the event, volunteers won't show up, bachelors won't show- you name it, I'm worried about it. I'm trying to think of every possible issue- there is still one issue that I'm trying to resolve so that the event flows smoothly. I did finalized the event map tonight, last night I wrote up the volunteer duties to share with every volunteer at the event, the program is almost all ready. Lisa is making some last minute changes for me, then I can get it printed tomorrow. It is so hard to do all this myself- I don't have anyone to run things by, to make sure that I'm thinking of everything or to help get stuff done. We did get a cool gift certificate donated today for a couple to use on their date- two tickets to a Boston Symphony Orchestra production. It was funny that it arrived today, I think it was March when we contacted them for the first time.

Anyways, I'm going to go eat another pear- I just finished a really good one, watch a bit more of Jay Leno, then back to work to finish up a few things- planning on getting to bed by 1am, so I need to pick up the pace. Until tomorrow friends..

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Blogging on a Sunday night- I think that's a first. So what's new? Nothing really- I am so nervous for Friday, it's dreadful. I know I need to relax, but can't seem to find a way. I had a horrendous headache earlier, still have a little one, and I don't usually get headaches- also having dreadful allergies (I hope it's not a cold, I don't think it is). It's so hard to explain how I feel. People that are event planners are probably laughing at me and maybe everyone is thinking that I'm majorly exaggerating. But I'm not. There is so much pressure for this event to be successful- we need the financial support from this event in a huge way. There was so much time and money that went into the date auction that in needs to be a success to justify all the work that went into it.

Besides that, I don't want to disappoint all the people that support this event- there were a lot of people that have believed in us and believed in our event and I don't want to disappoint them with a lousy event. I appreciate everyone that has helped get our date auction to where it is- the people that have sponsored, chosen to be auctioned off, are volunteering at the event, people that have given us deals on marketing, businesses that have donated gift certificates, the radio personalities who are hosting, Gypsy Bar for working with us- I wouldn't have gotten here without the people that have helped- so I want it to be a success so they don't feel like they wasted their time or regret being involved.

I made a business decision in January to hold this date auction as a fundraiser and besides all the bumps we've had along the way and issues that came up, I never doubted that I made the right decision and I know that it has the capability to be incredible on Friday night. I also know that I'm doing everything I can to get a great turnout. People tell me our ticket sales are on track for a great turnout. But I am so nervous, I feel it in my toes. I know it's not professional to admit that I've cried about it. But I was tonight. I'm so anxious about this event and the anniversary event 3 weeks from now- so afraid of them not being successful.

I'm sorry for being such a debbie downer tonight- I just figured blogging would help make me feel better- it hasn't. But I have stopped blowing my nose every 30 seconds and my eyes aren't so itchy, so I guess the tears helped cure that. Well, I think I'm going to go find a recipe for wonton soup- I'm going to make that tomorrow for my Try New Food Monday ritual. I had some tonight and it inspired me. I do have some emails that need attention, but maybe that can wait until morning.

I promise I will be in a better mood tomorrow- or at least I won't be all whiny. If I keep this up, I'll lose all my readers! I just hope the people that actually read this can understand how I feel without thinking I'm exaggerating- honestly, I'm not.
Until tomorrow friends....

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Date Auction 7 Days Away

Well, this time next Friday- our date auction will be over- I will be home and hopefully celebrating a hugely successful event. Nine months of planning, countless hours of phone calls, follow up phones, more follow up calls, emails, follow up emails, letters, trips- hours- days of anxiety- it will all be over. I can't even begin to tell you how anxious I am for the date auction- for the anniversary event too- but since the date auction is closer, that's the bigger worry. Everyone tells me it will be great and people who have experience in Boston events tell me that we are right on track with our ticket sales to have a great event, but still I worry. It gets overwhelming sometimes- there is an incredible amount of pressure that comes with this job. I know that everyone feels stress and pressure and I can't begin to compare myself to what others go through. But with Project Smile, everything basically falls back to me and I am solely responsible for our success and our failures. These two events are hugely important for our financial future- our stability and ability to grow. That is not an exaggeration. So when I worry about our event, I'm not simply worried about getting 300 people in the door, I'm worried about raising enough money to keep us going and justifying the incredible amount of time that was spent working on the date auction.

Anyways, enough on that? So why am I blogging on a Friday night? Well, I came home from having dinner with a really good friend and I needed to stop myself from going on the computer and obsessing over ticket sales- basically need to stop working for tonight. I missed blogging last night, so I figured it was a good time to crank up the laptop and get writing.

What did I do today? I was working on more date auction promo (what a surprise!), auction details and following up on those silent auction items promised. I found out that I need to get a cordless mic for the date auction (Gypsy has one, but we need two since we have two hosts). I thought one of the hosts was bringing one, but I made a mistake and it doesn't look like she will be able to get one. So I was trying find one to borrow- it costs $75 to rent, which isn't that much, but I really need to keep costs under control. Then I also found out I have to rent a PA system for our singers to use at the anniversary celebration- I wasn't expecting extra costs for the event, so that was pretty frustrating. I've rented one from a place in Framingham, it costs $63 and I have to pick it up and return it, so that is extra work on the event day. I need to make sure that both singers bring their mics with them, because I really can't afford extra rental charges. I know it may sound silly to worry about these small costs, but every dollar really adds up and it is all the small things that end up blowing the budget.

I was also working on getting my friends and people being auctioned off to promote our event on Going.Com. Going is featuring our event next week, but we need to generate buzz on the site by people clicking on our event AND leaving comments. So please, visit Going.Com, get a free account if you don't already have one (it's a cool site) and click on our date auction, the "like it" section and then leave a comment- you have to do that for it to count. Here is the link.

We are also on Yelp- that is a cool site too,
You can go on Yelp and click on our event too to help promote it. We're also listed on Boston Fashion Week's website and Boston.Com.

Anyways, I think I should go to bed- my eyes are starting to really hurt- that's a pretty good sign that I should be asleep. I am going to stop working for tonight at least- I need relax and stop thinking for a little bit. I just want to dream of how incredible our event could be- will be.
Good night friends..

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Ah powerpoint! I have been working on my very first powerpoint presentation- yes, I have actually never used powerpoint before. I was working on setting up our photo slideshow for the anniversary celebration. It is going to play while our song is being performed. It took me a little while to figure out how to add captions to the photos, but I somehow managed to press the right buttons and was able to add my photos and include captions. I'm actually really happy with the way it looks- its a pretty simple presentation, photos on white background with black text, but it looks neat and clean and the photos are great. I don't think it needs to be elaborate. It was really fun going through all the photos and choosing which ones to include. It's easy to forget what we have done these past 5 years, but looking at the photos, I can't help but see how far we've come. It is really funny to look at the early photos when we didn't have our own boxes, I was using the Poland Spring boxes and would tape a sign with our logo on it onto the sides of the boxes- it looked dreadful. But then again, I didn't know how dreadful it looked until after we got our boxes.

Anyways, I chose 51 photos for the slideshow, they are in chronological (almost) order, with each photo showing for 3 seconds. I'm so glad I figured it out on my own, I was working on it for about 2 1/2 hours tonight. Now the next big thing is getting hold of an LCD projector and figuring out how to hook that up to my laptop and project the slideshow onto a screen. If only I had a techie who could do this stuff for more- it would make things a lot easier.

I also want to do another photo montage to play at the anniv. event showing all the calendar photos from the 2009 calendar. Those ones don't need captions, so it should probably be faster to load them in. Lisa (graphic designer) still has the disks with the photos on them, so I have to wait until she sends them back before I can do that. We have hundreds of photos to sort through, so it will probably take a bit of time, but I think that would be a cool thing to play at the event.

What else was I working on today? I went up to Gypsy Bar to do a map for the date auction. It is so important to do a site visit and not rely on the layout from memory. I did some rough maps, tomorrow I will do a finished map which which show were all the tables are going to be positioned. I think I've made good choices. I do need to get some battery operated table lamps for the silent auction table. The lighting is pretty dim inside Gypsy and I want to make sure that our items are clearly visible. We have such awesome auction items- it is a small auction, nowhere near the scale of the anniversary event, but we definitely have cool stuff- including Air Tran tix worth $1000 and a Boston annual gym membership also worth $1000 and sports items as well.

I was also working on a lot of date auction prep work earlier- bid sheets, etc. I really wish I had someone to help me, because this would be perfect work to delegate. But I don't, so since I can't clone myself and can't afford to hire anyone, complaining isn't going to help.

Well, I'm off to bed. I had an exhausting night last night (can't explain)- I was so tired this afternoon, I took a short nap around 5:30 and woke up when the phone rang, wondering why someone was calling so early- I thought it was morning, yikes! I don't want to go to bed too late, it's 12:25 now, so I'm going to shut off my office comp, write my list for tomorrow and bed. Until tomorrow friends..

Date Auction Only 10 Days Away

Date auction is ten days away! What a busy day it was today- I managed to get through 15 of the 20 items on my list, which was actually pretty good. I was working on finalizing our gift certificates for the couples to use- we are almost all set, thankfully. Then I was back to work on the date auction program, following up with sponsors, following up on raffle items, sending out more anniversary event invitations. I was also working on following up on auction items that were promised- yes, there is that much following up to do. The Celtics are sending an autographed player photo for our silent auction- it should be arriving tomorrow.

Lisa sent me the draft program of the date auction this afternoon and it is looking awesome. The photo of me looks pretty lousy though, so I've sent her some new ones to choose from. Yes, I'm getting auctioned off too! There are still a few small additions for the program and an ad that needs revised, but it is almost all done. It really does look sharp- long though, 8 pages double sided. That's going to cost a pretty penny to print, but it can't be cut down because of all the ads that need to be included.

I was at the Providence Chapter of the Downtown Womens Club tonight. They have monthly networking events. I've been going for the last few months and I really like it. Networking events can be difficult sometimes, but this group is good because everyone is very friendly, it is a small group, but there are new people every month as well- and it is free to go! They meet at a restaurant in Attleboro, so it is fairly close to home. I think I wrote about it a few months ago, but I really am glad that I joined.

Tomorrow I am off to meet with the events manager at Gypsy Bar and work on my map for the date auction. So that means I need to go and prepare- I already know how many tables we need, but I need to list who/what is going to be at each table, so tomorrow I can figure out where each table will be located.

So I'm off to do that and then go to bed- eyes are hurting again, so I want to write the list up quickly and then sleep. Until tomorrow friends...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Date Auction Next Week!

Less than two weeks for the date auction! It doesn't seem possible that it is almost here. I've been working on the date auction and the anniversary event since January and now they are right around the corner and I am so nervous. Nervous that no one will show up and that all the hard work and time and money will be for nothing- this is nervousness that one can feel all the way down to their toes. I'm trying to do all the right things, particularly in promoting the date auction, but it is still really nerve wracking.

So what did I do today besides sit at my desk and worry? Well, I was working on getting more auction items that were promised- there are quite a few items left to chase down. We did get two more awesome items- one was a Bucket of Cheer donation from Boston Beer Company (which produces Sam Adams beer). Their donation includes a certificate for a case of Sam Adams beer per month for one year, a metal ice bucket, two beer glasses, t-shirts, caps and keychains. It is a really cool item. On Friday, I picked up a gift certificate from the Whitin Community Center for a pool party for up to 25 people, it has a value of $175.

I was also working on more date auction promo, got the last two profiles for the date auction program all set finally, sent more invitations for the anniversary celebration and I can't remember what else I was doing. I must sound like I have memory problems- I honestly don't, it's just when I get tired and when I'm anxious, I can't remember things. I know I need to calm down about getting people to the events, but there is so much riding on the success of these two events, that it is difficult to relax. Our fundraising has been off this year, so we need this money urgently to stay on track for the year.

When I close my eyes, I can visualize just how wonderful these events can be- I see the date auction with hundreds of people attending, all having a great time, waging bidding war after bidding war, the ladies winning their shoes along with the good looking guy. The same goes for the anniversary event, we won't get as many people as the date auction will, but it will be an elegant event, with great speakers, fantastic silent auction, good music, good food, debut of our calendar, our song will sound great- 150+ people, all having a good time and bidding on our cool auction items. So that's what I see when I think of how our events will be, now I just have to make sure that becomes a reality- because the nightmare scenario is me, my mom, my sister and 3 friends sitting in a giant ballroom at the Doubletree staring at all the cool auction items and me wondering aloud if I put the right time on the invitations. Nightmare date auction scenario is me waging a bidding war with myself for a date with 19 hot single guys, each coming with a pair of sexy shoes, size 7.5 and a gift certificate for a fun date- all for things that I want to do! OK, so maybe that's not such a bad nightmare!

Well, I'm off. I have a lot of emails to respond to and there's a lot of prep work I need to get done for the date auction- a lot of little things. I was planning on going back to work, but it's 12:18, so I might just go to bed early and wake up earlier and be the picture of efficiency tomorrow. I need to put the worry out of my head, because it is so draining. I also need to start work on the photo montage for the anniv. event- it is going to play while our song is being performed. I was trying to get someone to help me put it together, but that doesn't look like it's going to happen. I really should start work on that tomorrow.

OK, really off now, think I might just go to bed- I have this nagging little headache. Until tomorrow friends..

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Latest News

Greetings! Sorry for not blogging yesterday. I wasn't being a bum though- was up until 3am working- sending out invitations, working on the date auction program and catching up on emails. It has taken a long time to get those invites out- but I almost done. I know I keep saying this, but I am so anxious about getting enough people to attend the anniversary event- the date auction too- but the anniversary event in particular. This morning I met with the sales manager at the Doubletree Hotel to go over the details for the event. The meeting went really well, she was really nice and we got a lot accomplished. It is a great venue for our event and I'm so glad that we are holding it there again. I felt so excited for our anniversary when I left the hotel, it is shaping up to be a fantastic event.

I got unexpected news that kind of derailed things for me this afternoon. I can't go into details, however, it is related to one of our upcoming events. It did get me thinking about destructive people. It blows my mind that there are people out there who wish to bring harm to Project Smile out of some bizarre personal issues. I have spent the last 5 years of my life trying to build an organization that is simply dedicated to helping children. I work hard, it is a constant struggle to find the resources for us to grow, I work alone for the most part, with little help. All I've ever wanted is to make things better in the world, even if it is only in one small way and I want to create something that will continue helping others long after I am gone. It's pretty simple really. My greatest happiness besides my family is that Project Smile is growing and we are making a difference.

Now, I am no stranger to destructive people- I have met many in my life and I have personal experience repairing what others have tried to destroy. However, the fact that someone wants to create difficulties and obstacles for our work is unreal. But rest assured, that no one and nothing will get in the way of our mission, particularly not someone with baseless claims.

Anyways, enough on that topic. I can't remember all the other things that I wanted to blog about! I'm going back to work- have a ton of emails to respond to, more date auction work to do and more invitations to send out. I don't really want to stay up until 3am again, so since it is now 12:50, I need to get going. Good news- the Huntington Theatre donated gift certificates for two couples, so now we are down to 7 gift certificates needed.
Until next time friends...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Welcome to September

September is here! Our date auction is only 17 days away and our anniversary celebration is only a month away- can you imagine it? I had some moments of panic this morning when thinking about how close our events are. Today was a busy day- I was up at the printers this morning checking out our calendar proof- it looks awesome and will be ready next week! This afternoon, I was working on sending out our anniversary invitations. It takes a while because I write personal messages inside each invite and because I have so many to send out. I like to personalize them because I always enjoy invitations that have been personalized and last year, someone commented how they liked that I had written a note inside the invitation. I was really stupid though, because I should have gotten all the invitations ready last week, so that all I had to do was mail them today- I don't know what I was thinking by waiting. I know I've been busy, but I should have made time. I didn't have a lot of time this afternoon, but I did get 45 sent out and tomorrow will get the remaining 245 mailed. I am so nervous about getting people there. I also need to chase down the rest of those auction items that people promised but I don't have yet- that is so time consuming.

In really good news- the Sofft shoes arrived for our date auction! They are so cute and comfortable as well (the best possible combination!). I didn't have time to look at them all, but the ones I did see were gorgeous- very sleek and sexy. They sent mini shoe keychains as well which we will give out as people enter. I am still working on the gift certificates for the date auction- we are 9 items short and I am having such trouble coming up with the remaining items. I also need to chase down the info from firefighters who signed up, but still haven't sent their info. I'm trying to get everything squared away as soon as possible and right now there are too many loose ends.

Well, I'm going to go back and work on my invitations- my goal is to get to 80 before bed. There is more I wanted to blog about, but it is 12:24 and I need to get back to work. Wish me luck and speed! Until tomorrow night friends..