Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Night Before

Well friends, here we are yet again- the night before our big event. This is a little different though- milestones like this don't come around all the time. It's funny how these feelings never get old- I feel the same nerves every time an event comes around- it doesn't matter if it is our first event or the 10th. I walk through the event countless times in my head to make sure that everything is accounted for and I fret like nobody's business about getting a good attendance.

There isn't much else left to do for tomorrow- bid sheets are done, another beautiful cake from Konditor Meister was picked up today and all the incidentals that go along with the event are packed and ready to be loaded in the car. I still need to work on my speech for tomorrow- I have so much that I want to say, but most of all I want to say thank you. Thank you to everyone who stood by us and supported our work through all these years. Without their support, our work couldn't go on.

I wish I had more exciting news to write about tonight- I can't think of anything else but our event tomorrow. I hope that everything goes smoothly. I feel like I've prepared everything that I can and now I just hope that people show up and everything goes as it should. Please wish us all the best for tomorrow! On that note, I am off to work on my speech and choose my dress for tomorrow night. Until next time friends... and if you're looking for something fun to do tomorrow night and want to show your support, then come and join the celebration: 6:30pm, Doubletree Hotel, Milford!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Polly Productive

Two more days friends! I can't believe our 10th Anniversary is right around the corner. I am nervous and excited. I was the picture of productivity today- I wish every day could be this productive. I woke up super early to do a radio interview on WMRC 1490. Those who know me are aware that I am not a morning person, but I managed to actually wake up before my alarm clock and was a coherent person on the radio! The interview went great. I love talking about Project Smile- I could do that for hours. I also particularly love the radio. It is a wonderful medium and I feel totally comfortable when I'm talking on the radio. I've done quite a few radio interviews over the years and I've loved every one of them. I also like radio people- they are usually very relaxed, fast on their feet and fun to talk to.

I did a walk-thru at the Doubletree Hotel this afternoon. Originally, I wasn't going to do a walk-thru, since nothing much had changed for the layout since last year. However, we ended up having a  couple of additions and I felt like it was good to meet with the hotel events manager to make sure that we had everything worked out. Regardless of whether there are only small changes to an event, it is still important to meet and go over the details. We have a jewelry designer who is going to be showcasing her designs and we also have a new dessert vendor, so we had to make sure that we had enough table space for them.

I was also working on finishing up the bid sheets, getting auction items together, writing up the event timeline and speaker intro for our host to use and doing all the other million small tasks that need to be done before an event. I was also checking the credit card machine and making sure that was working properly. I also did a calendar photo montage to play during the event- that is always a popular part. I also had a small poster made at Staples to highlight our appearance in Glamour magazine last year. I had wanted to create a poster, but then I held off because I didn't want to spend extra money. However, at the last minute, I decided that we should have it. It won't cost that much to get made and it was a huge highlight for us. I've also been working on reaching out to people in order to get a good attendance- that is always such a nerve wracking part.

Tomorrow, I'm heading up to Braintree to pick up our cake.  Then I'm coming back to work on my speech, chase down some more last minute potential guests and get everything else wrapped up. Please keep your fingers crossed for having a good attendance. Until tomorrow friends...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Countdown to the Big Night

Greetings friends! Well, I have been really slacking with my blogging lately. I've been busy with getting ready for the Anniversary event and last week I had a cold and got delayed on everything- but that is still not a good reason not to blog. So what's new? Well, we are only 4 days away until our milestone 10th Anniversary Celebration. I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be celebrating 10 years and I'm not sure that I even fully appreciate what it means. I vividly remember the first time that we had an Anniversary Celebration- it was a party at our home office and it was our 3rd anniversary. We raised only about $750 in profit, but it was a lovely night. Recently, we've raised 9-11K in profit- quite a difference! I've been thinking about the people who've been to our events since the very beginning and how much their support meant. If I could have known then what the future would bring- I don't think I would have believed it. Even with the struggles and frustrations, the never-ending pursuit of more money in order to keep everything going and the other difficulties- it has still been a dream. I am grateful that I can appreciate just how wonderful these years have been.

Anyways, enough of the dream and back to the tasks that need to get done for Friday. I am almost done with the massive amount of bid sheets for the silent auction. However, each time I think I'm getting close to the end, I realize that there are a bunch more that need to be done. We're doing two silent auctions at Wine Fest on Saturday, so I need to get all of those bid sheets done as well. I have to do the sports memorabilia bid sheets, then we will be done with auction sheets. I want to get them done by tomorrow morning, so I don't need to think about bid sheets anymore. I get rather obsessed with getting things done in advance. One never knows when things pop up at the last minute, so I like to have things done in case there is an emergency or something else that gets in the way. A few years ago, my mom fell and broke her foot two days before our Anniversary Celebration. Thankfully, I was all done with the bid sheets and major preparation, so I could help mom and not fall behind on event preparation.

Tomorrow, I'm off to Boston to pick up a beer donation from Sam Adams. I'm waiting for two more auction items that are supposed to be arriving. One of the items is a really big one- I've been following up with the donor, but haven't had any response, so I'm not sure what is happening. I'm keeping my fingers and toes and elbows crossed that the item actually does arrive. I also have to pick up an item on Friday morning in Framingham- I can't pick it up any earlier. That is OK though- I don't have to be at the hotel to set-up until 2pm.

I also need to keep following up with people to get a good attendance. We can have all the best auction items in the world, but if we don't have a decent amount of guests who will bid, then it will all be for nothing. I have nightmares about having an event with 10 people showing up in the massive ballroom- yikes!

On that note- I'm off to eat a grapefruit and finish my bid sheets. Until tomorrow friends.... 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Anniversary Count Down!

Yikes- I haven't blogged in ten days! Well, I wish that I could say that I've been on a fabulous all-expenses paid vacation, but that has not been happening. I've been gearing up for our 10th Anniversary Celebration which is only 2 weeks and one day. I can't believe it is so close. It is our last big event of the year and needs to be successful. I've been working on chasing down last minute auction items. Unfortunately, one restaurant that had promised a dinner gift certificate said that they are dealing with a financial hardship and won't be able to donate. I've been promoting the auction item on our event invitation, so it is a shame that they aren't able to help. We won't be able to auction off one of our big items- for the past few years, we've auctioned off a TV Diner "Diner for a Day" certificate- they donated again this year, but sadly the show has been pulled from the air recently.

My major focus leading up to our big event is getting people to attend. I'm in the process of following up with everyone that I sent invitations to and asking people to spread the word and bring their friends to the event. I also decided to advertise again on WhoFish. We advertised with them last year- I'm not sure how effective it was, but the cost is reasonable, so I think it is worth trying again. I've also been reaching out to other Meet Up groups to see if they would like to invite their members to attend. I want to cover all my bases. We don't have a lot of time left, so it is really important to do everything I can to get a good attendance. We have so many awesome auction items, we need a good crowd to bid on them!

Walter, our awesome photographer who donates all his time to help photograph our events, sent over the photos from our Smiling Stiletto fashion show fundraiser during Boston Fashion Week. The event raised $2,500 for PS and went great. Here are two photos from the event. You can check out all the others on our Smiling Stiletto FB page:

 Well, I need to catch up on a few more emails, eat an apple and head to bed- I'm suppressing the desire to eat some delicious cheese with that apple.. Until next time friends...

Monday, October 7, 2013

Latest and Greatest!

Ah, it is already a week into October and I hadn't blogged yet this month! So what's new? Well, it is lots of busy days over here. Our fashion show fundraiser was last Thursday and it went great. It is our first time doing a full scale fashion show by ourselves and it worked out really well. We got a lot of positive feedback about the event. Danielle Vollmar from Channel 5 News hosted and she did a great job. The event was sponsored by Celebrity Cruises and Creative Wedding Solutions which was our event planner. We had lots of delicious food vendors- Sabine's Cuisine, Finale, Pretzel Crisps, Loves Cakes & Pastries and Tia's Baked and Unbaked Desserts. Guests also received a complimentary cocktail courtesy of Triple Eight Vodka. We had the event at the new Harborside Inn which was a great venue. I will have photos soon. It was a really fun night and I'm relieved that everything went well. We raised $2,500 for Project Smile which was excellent.

Last week, I donated almost 200 stuffed animals, books and coloring books/crayons to the Dept. of Children and Families for National Adoption Day which will be happening in courthouses across the state on November 22. 177 children are going to have their adoptions finalized. DCF puts together little care packets for the children to receive on that special day and they were in need of items, so we were happy to help. Here is a photo from the donation. We included a lot of the beautiful Build-a-Bears that the company donated to us this summer.
 DCF asked if we could help with donating items for one of their children's rooms at the Springfield office. They are looking for books, coloring books/crayons and art supplies among other items. I'm putting together items that we can provide for them. I offered stuffed animals as well and they are happy to have them. I'm planning to drop them off in Boston this week.

In other news, I'm working feverishly on our 10th Anniversary Celebration- this is our last big event of the year and it needs to be great (translation- it needs to raise a lot of money!). Last week, the paper invitations went out along with the first email blast. There will be an email blast each week about the event. I'm also promoting it on the Meet Up groups that I organize. I also need to keep reaching out to people and ask them to bring their friends to the event. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get people to attend. I also am following up to get some additional auction items. Tomorrow, I need to follow up with sponsors and get all of their ads for the program and website.

Our awesome photographer Walter Smith sent me a disc of photos from the Date Auction, there are some excellent photos in there, so please check them out-

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to do some organizing, send even more emails and watch the Jets hopefully win! Until tomorrow friends...