Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday Happenings

So what's the latest? Well, I was Polly Productive today- particularly focused on getting gift certificates for both of our big events and contacting sponsors. I received a phone call today from a potential sponsor, so that was great. I emailed the sponsor info to her and she was going to let me know when she got it, but didn't reply, so I'll give her a call tomorrow to make sure that she definitely got it. This would be a great sponsor to have on board and it is a perfect fit for their marketing.

I also reached out to some new gift certificate donors and new anniversary sponsors. I spoke with a new potential sponsor yesterday who said they would be on board which is great. I need to keep working on sponsor outreach- my goal is to get 5 new sponsors on board for the Anniversary Celebration along with the returning sponsors. I spoke with a very nice man today from a local kayaking company, he is going to donate a gift certificate for the auction. It really is so nice when you speak to people who are really pleasant and helpful. My call to his business was one of my last calls for the day and it made the day end on a high note.

Tomorrow morning, I'm doing our donation at Needham PD, then I'm heading to Braintree to pick up the auction items for our silent auction at Wine Fest on Saturday, on the way back, I'm dropping off books and coloring books/crayons at Franklin PD.

I still haven't worked on our April newsletter- since the month is almost over, it is going to become our May newsletter instead. I don't know why it is so hard for me to get that newsletter done in a timely manner- I need to give myself a definite deadline each month to get it done- otherwise, I keep postponing it until the month is almost over. I also have a grant that I need to start working on. I don't think I'll have time for that tomorrow though.

Well friends, that's it for tonight. I'm going to write my list for tomorrow, eat my yogurt and pineapple and read some more of the Hunger Games. I should also go and sort through some stuffed animals that arrived, but I'm getting tired. I also have emails that I need to respond to, but that might have to wait until tomorrow too. Until tomorrow friends...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fashion Show Success

Well, I am happy to announce that the Step into Spring fashion show fundraiser was a success! It was only a small fundraiser in terms of money- we raised approximately $1,900 for Project Smile, but even more so than that was that it helps in terms of raising awareness for Project Smile which is also very important. I only have a couple of photos, I can't wait until I get more. I absolutely love to see photos. Things went smoothly, even with all my butterflies. I think I delivered my speech well- I was feeling the energy with it. I got a lot of good feedback from guests, everyone seemed to be having a great time. Copley Place was a huge help with the event. Thank you to everyone who helped make it a success- I really appreciate it. Our fall one will be October 4. I already started on getting a host for the event.

So what else is going on? I scheduled a donation to Needham Police for later this week. I was also focused on getting sponsors for the date auction. There was a bunch of companies that expressed interest, but I hadn't heard back from, so I was following up with them. It gets frustrating sometimes when you speak to a potential sponsor and they are extremely enthusiastic about being involved with the event, then you try to follow up with them a few times and never get any response. It's one thing if a company isn't particularly interested from the beginning, but when they are really enthused and then disappear- that is a little more difficult to understand. Hopefully, I will hear back from some of these companies soon so that I don't have to keep following up.

I also did some work on date auction gift certificates and a couple of auction items for the Anniversary Celebration.  It was funny- I called a lady who handles marketing for a Boston restaurant group, she has been donating gift certificates for the date auction for the past few years. Before I called her, I checked to see when I first reached out to her last year- it was March 2011. I'm usually like clock work when it comes to contacting donors every year, so I was surprised that I was a month late. I called the lady and she told me how she usually hears from me earlier in the year! Our event is always in September, so it's not like I was waiting until the last minute. It is funny how she remembered what time of year I usually first reach out.

Anyways friends, that's it for tonight. I was going to eat my grapefruit- but I came home and felt hungry, so I randomly decided to have some smoked salmon and then followed that up with a Oreo mint cookie that I think was leftover from my birthday party- a very bizarre combination- so I'm not sure if I'm feeling a grapefruit right now. I am going to watch a bit more TV and read some more Hunger Games- I never would have read it if my sis hadn't given it to me- I am enjoying it so much. Until tomorrow friends...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

2 Days to Show Day

Only two days until the Step into Spring fashion show fundraiser at Copley Place. I am so excited. It is always a little nerve wracking heading into a big event. Copley Place has handled quite a bit of the details, so that has really made a difference. We are waiting on one big thing that needs to arrive- it was supposed to arrive today, but other than that, things are looking good for the event. We lost one model on Friday, but we were able to replace her within a few hours from the models on the waiting list. All of the fittings have been done. I sent all the models a very detailed email last week about the event- some of them responded about how happy they were that they received all the details and glad that it was organized so well. It was nice to hear that. Sometimes, I wonder if I give too many details, but I think it is helpful- it makes things easier for everyone involved to know exactly what is asked of them and how things are going to work. The more I'm thinking about it now, the more butterflies I'm getting!

So what else is going on? Well, it looks like we may have a speaker for our Anniversary Celebration. The person hasn't committed to it yet, but they are definitely interested. They have to check their schedule and get back to me. It is an interesting person, so I hope it works out. It will be good to have that wrapped up too. Our auction items have been coming in for both events which is great. Vivian, a volunteer who has been helping with getting auction items donated just got a hotel stay and gym membership, so that is a big help. We also have a new bachelorette who is interested in participating in the auction- a friend of mine recruited her. I'm going to email her tonight. It is great to have people signing up already. Sofft Shoes is back on board which is another piece of great news. They are going to donate shoes so that the top ten bachelors will have a pair of high heels for the lady with the winning bid. Previously, they have donated shoes so that every bachelor has high heels for the winning woman, but they had to cut back some this year. That is fine though- we have enough for half the group which is really good. It is such an awesome promotion to have.

I actually got a manicure today in honor of the fashion show. I only get manicures rarely- partly because of finances and also because I'm always working with boxes and that is pretty rough on nails. My sister got me a gift certificate for a manicure as a Christmas gift. I was saving it for a special occasion and this was it! I'm going to be on stage speaking, so I want to look my best. Also, I asked all the models to come with their fingers and tootsies stage ready, so I should be sure to have the same done. I had the shellac done, so that should last a while. I'm loving my bright red nails!

Tomorrow afternoon, I'm meeting with Copley to do our final walk-thru for the show. I also need to work on following up with some more police and fire departments. I'm not sure if I'll get to work on getting event sponsors, but it will be on my list. I also need to get cracking on our April newsletter- we are half way through April and I still haven't started it- that is a familiar theme. Well, I'm off to send a few more emails and watch some more of my favorite reality show which is on right now. My sister gave me the Hunger Games to read, so I might start that too. Until tomorrow friends...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Catching Up and a Nice Surprise

Well, this was a night for catching up- except, that I didn't get to cleaning up my office, which is looking like a paper bomb went off in it. I wasn't out tonight, so that gave me the time to catch up on emails, get stuffed animals ready for tomorrow's donation and get some other work things done. I always underestimate how long things take to do.

Things are moving along well. I had a meeting today with a mall that wants to have a Smiling Stiletto event with us this summer. It will also be a fundraiser for Project Smile. We will promote the event to our members and get members to model in the show. They are doing all the coordinating of the event which is great. It is wonderful how shoe club has really helped raise funds and awareness for Project Smile. That was one of my goals when I took it over and it has worked out perfectly.

We received a surprise $5,000 donation from a local company! There is nothing better than surprise donations that come along- it doesn't happen very often. This company has supported us in the past and decided to increase their support which is wonderful. It really makes a huge difference when we get donations like that. This is our first large donation of the year.

Tomorrow, I'm doing a stuffed animal donation to Worcester Fire. We have donated to them before. This donation will have a lot of beanie babies in it. Beanies are good for fire departments because they don't take up a lot of space. After Worcester, I'm zooming back here to start work on a grant and work on date auction and anniversary event sponsors and auction items. I also need to start working on our 2013 calendar, but I don't think I'll get to it this week.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to eat my grapefruit and not do anymore work- I feel like if I start working again, then I'll stay up until 2am. I've been doing pretty well at heading to bed at a decent hour, so I need to stay on that track. Until tomorrow friends....

Monday, April 9, 2012


Well, this was a bit of a roller coaster day- the only thing that matters is that we ended up on the upside of the roller coaster- but it was a little rough this afternoon. Things started out with my usual slow Monday self. I scheduled our next stuffed animal donation to Worcester Fire, then was working on Anniversary sponsors. I called one of our event participants to follow up on an email that I sent a few days ago- I ended up with a major problem that I hadn't expected. I'm glad I made the call because otherwise I wouldn't have known about the problem until later when it would have been even worse. Less than an hour later, I ended up with a different problem also related to the event. I don't want to go into details, but the good thing is that both problems were resolved and things are fine. It was so stressful though- for a short time, I was ready to have a meltdown. The most frustrating part is that problems arise even when you work really hard to set things up for success- communicate well, follow up, etc.- do everything that you can possibly do to prevent things like this from happening- but it still happens. I am relieved that things worked out and we are still on track for a great event. I'm also very appreciative of the people that helped get the problems taken care of. We sold out of tickets on Friday which is awesome- that is a record for the earliest we've had tickets sold out for. I keep getting emails from people wanting tickets, I wish I could get them tickets, but due to fire regulations, we can't add anymore tickets.

Events are a ton of work. I never appreciated that until I started organizing them. It is so easy to criticize events that one goes to, but when you step into the other side and see the amount of work that goes into them- you end up with a new found appreciation. Events rely on so many people coming together and doing what they need to do.

Well, that's the latest for tonight- there is a lot more to blog about, but I'm getting tired.  This will be  a non grapefruit night- my brother's leftover chocolate birthday cake is in the kitchen along with whipped cream and a mix of strawberries and raspberries- that is what I will be munching on in a few minutes. Until tomorrow friends...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Busy Days

Well, this was a busy day. I was following up with fire departments for stuffed animals donations- I didn't get through to anyone, but hopefully will be hear back soon. I was also following up with police departments for donations. I've been working on getting updated letters of support from departments that we donate to. I already have a lot of letters from departments, but it is important to have current letters to include with our grant applications.

I was also focusing on sponsors for the Anniversary Celebration today. There was one company that had sponsored in the past, but wasn't responsive last year. I emailed and they immediately got back to me to let me know that they would review it and they think they will be able to participate. Of course, that isn't a definite, but it is a start. It's helpful to at least get some sort of acknowledgment that your email was received. It is frustrating when you keep reaching out and don't get any response at all.

Auction items are trickling in- we've already added some new ones from last year for the Anniversary event and Date Auction. I went to the mail today and there was a bunch waiting for me- it is such a good feeling when they actually arrive! I've been learning that even if you get denied a donation for years, one should still keep trying. There was one restaurant that I tried for years to get a gift certificate from. I gave up last year and I didn't even reach out to them. I tried them again this year and they will be donating a $50 gift card which I can give to a couple to use on their date.

I need to start reaching out to get single guys and ladies for the auction. It is still pretty early to get people signed up, but there are certain people that I want to start reaching out to.

Tomorrow, I'm meeting with Copley for our fashion show on the 19th. It is almost sold out, which is excellent. It is great when it gets close- all the little pieces comes together to have the event- it really is exciting.

Well, that's it for tonight. There is more to write about, but I'm getting tired. I'm off to eat my grapefruit... what will I do when grapefruit season comes to an end?? Well, by that time, hopefully the delicious summer fruit will be in season- blueberries, watermelon, grapes, cherries, peaches- can't wait! Until tomorrow friends...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ups and Downs

Well, today was an up and down day. On the good side, we donated to our 170th department today- Northborough Police. It is always great when add on a new department that we work with. We don't add as many new ones as we used to every year because it is hard to keep up with the departments that we already work with. After that donation this morning, I did another one to SMOC (South Middlesex Opportunity Council)- they are an organization in charge of our area and Metro West area homeless shelters and as well as many other programs to help low income families. We've been donating stuffed animals, books and coloring books/crayons to SMOC for a few years now. Here is a photo from today's donation. I always enjoy doing our donation there- the staff that I meet are so pleasant and nice to work with.
In other good news- we're doing really well with ticket sales for the Smiling Stiletto Step into Spring fashion show fundraiser on April 19 at Copley Place. We only have 27 tickets left until we sell out! It is going to be a fabulous event. Now that it is getting so close, I'm getting more and more excited for it.

So what was the downside today? Well, the volunteer who I spoke with last week and had a great conversation about helping with the date auction emailed me this afternoon to let me know that she won't be able to work on getting sponsors. She thought it would be best left to a salesperson and she wasn't very familiar with businesses in Boston. That was quite disappointing, especially since she seemed really enthusiastic and had experience. It is so hard to get volunteers to work on things outside of help at events. Helping at events is great, but I need help with other things too.  I need to focus on getting interns instead.

Another business in Boston that I've been trying to get a gift certificate donated from for years emailed to let us know that they're not able to donate. They also included an invitation to host an event at their location. I prefer to work with venues that have already been supportive of Project Smile. I understand that businesses can't donate to every cause, but why would I haven an event at a place that has steadily declined to donate even a gift certificate to our cause? I'd much rather support the places that have supported us.

I reached out to a long time supporter who has helped us with anniversary event sponsorship and other things for quite a few years. I was calling to talk to him about the anniversary event and reaching out to a local sponsor who has been involved for the past few years. I'm glad that I called him when I did because he was so sad- his beloved dog died last week after an illness. His dog was only 4 years old- I remember when he got the dog and how happy he was. I met the dog once, she was very sweet. It was so sad to hear him talk about the loss. He wants to start a non profit to work with people and their sick pets. He was asking my advice about starting a non profit- I was happy to share my info. He is a really nice person, it's sad that he is going through such a loss.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. My priorities for tomorrow are our newsletter, date auction and anniversary event sponsors, reaching out to more police/fire departments, anniversary event speaker and auction items. That's a lot of priorities for one day isn't it? I'm off to watch TV for a bit, then I want to finish this chick lit book that I've been enjoying. I also need to do some more research for potential sponsors and gift cert. donors. Until tomorrow friends...