Thursday, May 29, 2014

Polly Progress

Greetings friends! So, I'm happy to say that I was Polly Progress today- working on lots of different things and making progress. We received a $500 donation from Unibank- a local bank who has supported us in the past, so that was good news. We also have a sponsor back on board for the Anniversary Celebration. Earlier this month, we had a sponsor who had supported our calendar and event for the past few years decide not to continue their support. They said they were cutting back their budget. That was disappointing, but I don't feel like there is anything that I could have done that would have changed things. In good Date Auction news, we're getting a lot of commitments for restaurant gift certificates for the event 'couples'. I reached out to a Boston marketing company that has been involved with helping get items donated before and asked for their help again. They've been spreading the word to their restaurant clients and 4 places have agreed to donate, which is excellent. Another restaurant group that I do a lot of Meet Up events at is going to donate 3 gift certificates. We were already half way towards getting enough items for the couples to use on their date, so this is a big help. I was reaching out to new potential Date Auction sponsors today- I don't have any news yet. I've also started working on our 2015 calendar- haven't made much progress yet, but will be kicking that more into gear next week.

In other good news, Miss Massachusetts will be a special guest at our 11th Anniversary Celebration on November 7. She has been a part of our event for many years and it is always a pleasure to have her attendance. The title holders are always so outgoing, professional and a nice addition to our event. I had been emailing the pageant director for the past few months and hadn't heard back, so I was a little concerned that she wouldn't be able to attend this year. I emailed again today and the director wrote back to say they were all set to participate. Excellent!

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to eat some blueberries and yogurt. I need to make a Market Basket trip and stock up on grapefruit. Blueberries and yogurt are so delicious together and a perfect late night snack. I'm trying to go to bed early- I'm having trouble getting over the west coast time change. It was so much easier in Seattle- I was waking up super early without any difficulty! Until next time friends...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Willing to Learn

Greetings friends! It has been a while since my last blog, but I did have good reason- I was away on an Alaska cruise! It was an amazing vacation- the best I've ever had. The scenery in Alaska is breathtaking. I highly recommend that everyone visit Alaska to get to see the natural beauty in person. I also got to spend a few days in Seattle and that was great too. It is wonderful to have a change of scenery and get to see some new places. I came home feeling energized and ready to make lots of progress with work.

It is so important to keep learning. As we get older, it's not as easy to learn new things, but it is never too late. I frequently find it challenging to learn some new things, but I always keep in mind that no one is born knowing everything. Everyone who is knowledgeable or skilled at something started at zero. I've been noticing lately how reluctant some people are to learning something new. I organize a social group and we meet monthly for a board game night in a Boston bar. We play a variety of games, most are usually simple party games, but some are strategy games that require more attention and thought. They aren't even particularly complicated strategy games. It amazes me how some people aren't interested in learning something new that requires some attention to figure out. Or, they will sit down to play and then give up in a couple of minutes. Other people become critical of the game because they can't figure it out. Now, there are plenty of games that I have trouble understanding, but I don't like to give up and I want to learn how to play. Not wanting to learn, or giving up easily, is a fast way to have a stereotypical old person mentality. It is crucial to keep learning- keep finding new and better ways to do things. You have to keep up with news, keep up with technology, be active in the world and have an open mind.

On that note- I'm off to keep up with emails. I've been researching potential Date Auction sponsors and I have a list that I want to reach out to tomorrow. I also need to get some new Anniversary Celebration sponsors and auction items- I feel behind on both of those fronts. I need to be Polly Progress tomorrow and gets lot done so I can end the month on a productive note. Until tomorrow friends- please send me some good progress vibes my way!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Grants News!

Well friends, I'm happy to announce that we received a $5,000 grant from the TJX Foundation! The Foundation has been supporting our efforts for the past few years. They are one of the largest grants that we receive. It is wonderful to have their support. TJ Maxx, Marshall's and Home Goods are the places that I do most of my shopping, so on a personal level it makes me happy that my favorite stores also support the cause that is closest to my heart. I was getting a little worried because I hadn't heard anything from them. They typically send an email, to let you know that you've been approved and asking for supporting documents. I hadn't received the email, so I was concerned that they weren't on board. Last week, I was browsing through my Spam box and there was the email from the Foundation, letting us know that we'd been approved and asking for the supporting documents. What a relief! You can never take it for granted that you're going to get support again- funding priorities change, budgets change- there are so many reasons beyond your control.

In other news, Walter, our photographer, sent over photos from the fashion show. He got some really good ones. Here is one of my favorites- our LK Bennett models.
Here is one with Danielle Vollmar, our host. We somehow managed to wear color coordinated dresses again!
All of the photos are posted on our Smiling Stiletto FB page:

Well, that's the latest news for tonight. I already ate my grapefruit and caught up on some emails, but I still have so more to get to. Until tomorrow friends...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Fashion Show Success!

Well friends, I'm happy to announce that our Smiling Stiletto Step into Spring fashion show last Thursday was a success! We sold out of tickets on Tuesday morning which was awesome. We've sold out all our spring shows in the past, but that is still never a guarantee. I got a lot of emails, calls and texts from people who wanted tickets, so we definitely could have sold a bunch more. The event went smoothly. Copley Place is a beautiful place to host our event and they do a great job getting the retailers on board and taking care of all the details. Students from the New England Art Institute assisted again with all the behind-the-scenes work that happens at a fashion show. The guests loved the fashions- everyone clapped after each model came out which was a first. LK Bennett, Cache, Nine West shoes, Kim's Fashion Design and Soft Surroundings all did gorgeous looks for the models. All of our vendors did an awesome job- Voli Vodka, Runa, GuS Soda, Da Vinci Restaurant, El Pelon, Good Life Kitchen, Making Whoopie, LaCascia's Bakery and Finale- thank you all so much for supporting our event.  A photographer from the Improper Bostonian attended, so we should be having photos in an upcoming issue soon, which is great. Danielle Vollmar from Channel 5 did an excellent job hosting again- she hosted our fall show as well. She has great energy and is a fun host and reliable, which makes a big difference. Walter, our awesome photographer, said that I should be getting the photos at the end of the week- can't wait to share them with everyone!

I'm happy that everything went well. It is a small fundraiser for us- we bring in about $1,900 in profit, but it is more important in terms of raising awareness for Project Smile. It's so important to keep getting our name out there by having fun events and spreading the word about our efforts.

Now that the fashion show is over, I'm back to work full steam on our big fall events. There is still lots more to do and we're already well into the first week of May, so there is no time to be wasting. I need to focus on getting more financial sponsors and definitely still have a long way to go for auction items for the Anniversary Celebration. I feel way behind on that task.

On that note, I'm off to eat my grapefruit and send some more emails. Until tomorrow friends!