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...

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