Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Latest and Greatest

Hello friends! I hope everyone had a good Memorial Day weekend. I can't believe we are almost at the end of May. In good news, we added another sponsor for the Date Auction which I am really happy about. This is putting us toward a record for event sponsorship. We've also been making more progress in getting gift certificates donated for the couples to use on their dates. I only need 8 more certificates, then we will technically have enough. I need to keep going though because then we can put some of them in the silent auction and that helps us raise funds. I also need to work on recruiting more bachelors/ettes to participate. We already have a few bachelors signed up. Today, I reached out to the fire fighter who has been a huge help in the past and he said he would help get some fire fighters again. I'm also going to attend the FF Burn Foundation charity auction next month and hopefully meet some FF there who would like to do our auction as well.

I'm really happy to announce that we're going to be doing our own fashion show during Boston Fashion Week. We just booked an awesome new venue, the Harborside Inn on State Street for the event. They have a beautiful bar & lounge that we're going to be using. We have an event planner who is donating her time to do organize the event for us. It is going to be awesome! I think we will keep the ticket price the same as our Copley shows, $20 and all the proceeds will go to Project Smile. It is going to be wonderful to have our show that we put together entirely ourselves.

Well, there is lots more to write about, but I'm getting tired and need to go and finish up a few other things. Tomorrow, I'm off to Braintree to pick up auction items for the silent auction fundraiser that we're doing at Beer Fest on Friday. I also want to work on our long over-due PS newsletter and I need to schedule some more police/fire donations and work on our events. Until tomorrow friends...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday Marvels

Well, like most people out there- I did not win Powerball and so the fundraising efforts chug along today. Ah, if only I had won and could make a sizable donation that would launch us into the next level. How amazing that would be!

Anyways, back to reality- so what's new? Well, today I was working primarily on anniversary sponsors, auction items and calendar sponsors. I don't have any positive news today, but that is usual.  It takes a while usually for people to respond. I did get a commitment for a handmade jewelry item for the silent auction at our Date Auction which is great. I'm really working hard to broaden the sponsorship base for the Anniversary event. It is a milestone for us and I want this to be our biggest event ever and that means I need a lot of new sponsors. I also want to get the calendar ads taken care of early. Ideally, I'd like to have commitments for half the ads by the end of this month. 

Tomorrow, I'm doing a small bowling fundraiser with my Meet Up group. I organize a free bowling night at Jillian's for my Beantown & Beyond Singles group every couple of months and I ask guests to make a $5 donation to Project Smile. Last time we raised almost $200 which was excellent. Events like that are perfect because they require so little amount of effort. I wish I could do more of them.

Well, I wish I had more exciting news to share today- I probably do, but my mind is going blank. I promise to be more interesting tomorrow! Until then friends...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Polly Progress

Greetings friends! Well good news, we have reached our sponsorship goal for the Date Auction. We got a commitment yesterday for another platinum sponsorship and that pushed us over the line. I am a happy camper! It is a relief to know that we will have our costs covered, now we keep going and raise as much as we can. These additional sponsors will be all profit. I haven't received payment from all of the sponsors yet, so that is another reason to keep going just in case something happens with one of our sponsors. It is so important to keep following up with people and researching. I subscribe to a lot of online newsletters, email lists and I'm always researching to see what is new and who we could potentially partner with. More of our sponsors have come from online research than any other source.

Today, we donated to Providence Police. It has been a few years since our last donation there. We work with so many departments, it is hard to keep up. Also, almost all of our funding comes from MA, so that is where most of our efforts have been focused. I always want to keep up with all our departments, so recently I've been reaching out to departments in RI to replenish their supply. I met with the Sgt. who works in the sexual assault unit. He was very happy to have the new supply of stuffed animals. Here is a photo from today's donation:
Well friends, there is lots more to write about, but I'm getting a little tired and need to head off to bed soon. I have so much that I want to make progress on before the week is over- I can't believe we are already half way through May. Anyways, off I go... until tomorrow friends...

Monday, May 13, 2013

Ribbon Cutting Debut

Happy Monday friends. So what's new? Well, Friday was the debut of my ribbon cutting skills. Build-a-Bear was celebrating the grand reopening of their store at the Northshore Mall and they chose us as the benefiting charity. They will be donating approximately 600 stuffed animals which will be stuffed by guests at all of their Boston area stores this week. That will be a pretty awesome donation to receive. I was invited to attend the ribbon cutting and say a few words to the families attending. I didn't think that I would actually get to cut the ribbon. I was actually a little nervous to make sure that I didn't mess it up! There was no way to actually mess it up of course- all you had to do was cut it with scissors- it was pretty idiot proof! It was really fun to participate. I've always watched ribbon cutting, but this was my first time actually doing it. The teddy bears that they have in the store are so beautiful. They also have a lot of new technology in the store to make it even more interactive and engaging for children. When I have children, I'll definitely bring them there for a special occasion. Here is a photo of me with the store employees. Good thing I wore my blue dress- I fit in with the Build-a-Bear uniforms!
And, here is one more photo with the bear mascot:
I'm going to email my contact at the corporate office to see if anyone was able to take a photo of the actual ribbon cutting- that would be a cool picture to share.

The fun continued the next morning when I taped an interview on WBZ CBS Sports Radio 98.5 in Boston. It aired Sunday AM. The producer, who I met at a networking event a couple of months ago, is going to send me a copy of the interview so I can put it on our website. I love doing radio interviews. I could talk about Project Smile forever! The host did a great job and I really enjoyed it. I'm really happy that they chose to have me on the show.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. Tomorrow, I'm off to do another donation to DCF. I need to keep cracking on event work so we can stay on track. I just got a commitment from Disney for a donation of 4 one-day passes to Disney World which are valued at almost $500 for the auction at our Anniversary Celebration.  This is a great auction item to have!

Off I go to read for a bit- I just started a book about the Dust Bowl- a horrific event that I had barely ever heard of. Until tomorrow friends...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thursday Happenings

Greetings friends! So what's new? Well, here is a photo from our donation of stuffed animals, books and coloring books/crayons yesterday to Project Hope in Boston.
Today, I was working on following up with event sponsors and reaching out to new sponsors. I always underestimate how long research takes. I spent much longer than I had anticipated this morning trying to find the email address for the marketing director at a local company that I've been trying to get on board. I also applied for some silent auction items from some new donors. I was at a gala event recently and got some ideas for potential auction donors while browsing their selection of items. The event also had their balloons on tables with up-lights right next to them and it looked wonderful. I wouldn't have thought of that myself. I'd love to get some up-lights for our 10th Anniversary event and have the balloons next to them. I'm not sure how much they cost though. Other people at the event were also commenting on how pretty the balloons looked with the lights.

Tomorrow morning, I have to be at Build-a-Bear at the Northshore Mall, Peabody for the grand re-opening of their store. The company is launching a drive for us where people buy a stuffed animal and donated to us. They're expecting to collect 600 stuffed animals from the Boston area stores which is excellent. It is really nice to have their support. The only downside is that I have to be there at 9:15am- which will be a bit of a challenge with rush hour traffic.

Well, that's all for tonight friends since I have to be up really early tomorrow to hit the road and I am most definitely not a morning person! Until next time...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Latest and Greatest

So what's the latest? Well, yesterday I did our donation of 270 stuffed animals to the Rhode Island State Police. The donation went well. The RISP have a new HQ since I had been there last. It is a pretty impressive looking building.  Here is a photo:
I don't know if you can tell from looking at the photo on our blog, but the background of the building and the sky doesn't even look real- it looks too perfect. The RISP emailed the photo to me, so I'm not sure how the background came out looking that way. I love the photo. They had really nice cameras, so that probably had a lot to do with it. Here is another photo.

I don't know how I'm doing it again, but I've now worn the same dress for the last 3 donations that I've done! For some reason, I seem to do this all the time. If you look at the photos close together, you would think that I either had: hardly any clothes or did all the donations on the same day. Neither of which is true!

Today, I did another donation to a homeless shelter in Roxbury. I had to park on the busy street outside the shelter to unload my boxes. It was just starting to rain and I was struggling to carry two boxes at once when a man who was standing on the sidewalk came over and offered to help. He asked me where I was going and carried the boxes inside the shelter for me. It was such a nice gesture and I was so appreciative. It really makes you feel good when people make an effort to help. We've donated to the shelter a number of times before and they're always happy to receive our items. I will post a photo from that donation tomorrow.

In other good news, we have our first 2014 calendar sponsor on board. It is the Milford National Bank which has been a very long term supporter of our work. They're always so prompt to respond which is really helpful as well. I can't believe it is already time to start working on the 2014 calendar!

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm trying to get to bed at a decent hour- it really makes a difference for a productive morning. However, as much as I try, it rarely seems to happen. Until tomorrow friends...

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday's Happenings

Happy spring Monday! I absolutely love spring weather like this, although it would be nice to have it a little warmer in the evenings. Today was a good day. We did another donation to Worcester Police of 220 stuffed animals, books and coloring books/crayons. Here is a photo from the donation. The
We have all our photos from the Smiling Stiletto Step into Spring fashion show fundraiser. They came out great! Pino and Walter did an awesome job. Here is one of my favorites- with the winners of the Best-in-Shoe competition. You can check out the rest of the photos at:
Tomorrow, I'm off to do a donation to the RISP- it has been a while since we donated there. We're also doing a donation to Providence PD next week, it has also been a while since we donated there as well. We've donated to so many departments- 186- it is really hard to keep up with them all.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. There is lots more to write about, but I'm getting tired and trying to wrap up a few other things so I can get to bed at a decent hour. Until tomorrow friends...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Welcome May

Hello May! This is a lovely spring month and I feel that good things are coming. We're already off to a good start with a $5,000 grant that we received from the TJX Foundation! This is the 3rd grant that we've received from the Foundation which is awesome. It is wonderful to have support like this.  Ongoing grants of this size are hugely important for our ability to keep growing. I really appreciate how dedicated they are to helping local organizations. The TJX stores are pretty much the only place that I buy my clothes, so personally it means a lot to shop at a place that also supports our work.

I took a vacation with a friend for a few days- we drove to Washington DC to do some sightseeing. I don't go away very often- my last trip was 2 years ago. I came home last night and felt re-energized to get back to work. I take days off when I need to, but there is something different about actually going away. It is good to have a complete change of scenery occasionally. It gives you a different perspective when you go somewhere new and it also gives a really good chance to unwind. Washington DC is a wonderful place to visit because there is so much to see and much of it is free. The monuments and museums are also really inspiring as well. It makes you want to do great work when you see the accomplishments of others. It is also inspiring to see the memorials and think of the many millions of people who have sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. It is almost 1am and I need to get to sleep! Until tomorrow friends...