Thursday, August 29, 2013

Goodbye August

Greetings friends- well, we are saying goodbye to August. I'm nervous to leave August because that means the Date Auction is now just a few weeks away and our fashion show and Anniversary Celebration are right on its tail. So what's new? Well, we've had some bouncing around with our Date Auction bachelors - we lost two, but then gained three, so we have a full house for participants. One of the bachelors that we gained is a pretty awesome guy- he's a fire fighter who was also a hero after the Boston Marathon bombings. I'm really happy that he signed up. It turns out he was also a participant in one of our first Date Auctions as well. I had read newspaper articles about him after the bombings, but I had forgotten that he had been involved in our event.

The partner of the DJ that usually does our fashion shows is donating his time to DJ at our Date Auction. The bachelors/ettes are going to be able to choose their own song to come out onstage to. I emailed all the participants this afternoon to ask them to choose me a song. I heard back from a few, but I think I'll be hearing from more soon. I know it would take me some time to choose a song to come onstage to!

In other news- what? There is other news besides the Date Auction? Well, calendar photos are officially done! I did photos yesterday with awesome twins who've been in the calendar a few times. Their mom is awesome- I first met her when she organized a stuffed animal/book drive for us a few years ago. She came here to drop the items off and she was so funny and lively- I liked her immediately.  She has 3 daughters. Her oldest daughter wasn't there yesterday, so it was just the 7 year old twins. The photos came out really well. The girls aren't identical, but they had identical t-shirts on. It's funny- I'm always in a rush to get the photos done, but when they're done, I miss working on them. I've loved taking pictures ever since I was a little kid and I really enjoy meeting the families and doing the calendar photos.

Well, I'm heading back to catch up on some work and eat some grapes. I hope everyone has a happy and relaxing Labor Day weekend. I will be keeping my fingers crossed and holding off the urge to obsessively check email for ticket sales updates! Until next time friends...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Counting Down

Well friends- the countdown until our fall events (particularly the Date Auction) is officially underway. Actually, it has been underway for at least nine months, but now the end is in sight. I can't even begin to tell you how nerve wracking it is. There is so much pressure to have 3 successful events- with the Date Auction being the biggest and the Anniversary Celebration right behind it. The good news is that we are in a good place for our events. I filled all the spots for people to be auctioned off. We have an awesome crew signed up. Our first email blast to our database is going out tomorrow morning. I then have to send Lisa, one of our designers, photos of 20 of our bachelors/ettes to include on the email blast that will go out to the Boston Event Guide database. Once I get that version done, I'll also send it out on the future email blasts to our database. I wait until I get everyone signed up before I pick the photos to include on the email. You don't want to miss including a really attractive and/or well known person. The BEG marketing is one of our biggest components. I feel like I'm doing everything I can to have a successful event, but I still get so anxious.

In other news, calendar photos are almost done. I was in Weston this morning doing photos with an officer and his two little girls- they were a very nice family. I may have one more photo shoot to do. Marie, the graphic designer, is working on the calendar layout. It is always exciting to see the calendar. I'll be really happy when it heads to the printer- one more thing done!

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I need to go and catch up on some emails and submit some more updates for our website. I still have to do some grant work- I've been so focused on events that I haven't spent enough time on the grants. Ah, I need a clone! Until tomorrow friends...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Latest and Greatest

Well friends- we are now one month and one day until the Date Auction! Ticket sales are officially underway which is always great news. There is always a sense of relief when the first ticket sales are sold. We've filled all our spots for ladies to participate in the auction. We still have a few more spots available for men. It always goes that way. This year was a little unusual because I started getting more men signing up in the beginning than women, but then the number of women signing up took off. One girl dropped out last night because she got into a relationship, but I had 3 more sign up over the weekend, so that wasn't a big deal. I was at the police academy today to recruit bachelors. I've been recruiting from there since our very first event. It is always a good group to visit with. I also get to talk to them about our work and how important it is to give stuffed animals to the children they encounter who are scared or upset. The Date Auction was in last week's Boston Event Guide newsletter, so we're definitely already starting to get the word out. We also might be getting a free ad in a Boston publication- nothing is definite, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Our Date Auction gift bags arrived and they are beautiful! They are the same style tote bag that we usually do, but I went with a bright yellow color. I am so happy that I chose the yellow- it is really eye catching. It is so important to listen to people- I only chose that color because I was asking one of the women who works at the promotional company if there was a hot pink bag- she said there wasn't but she suggested that I look at the gold bag because it was really popular and it looked great. I had looked at a sample color online and it didn't look very attractive. It was a dark yellow in the picture. I asked the guy that I work to send me a sample and he did. I loved the sample and placed the order. Our logo/website really stands out. I was so excited when I opened the boxes last week, I yelped in happiness. I've been using one of the bags and it makes me smile every time I look at it.

In other news- calendar photos are winding down. I'm doing a photo shoot tomorrow morning, then I have one more scheduled for next week and two more that I have to do. The calendar ads are all sold- I actually heard back from another potential sponsor that I had reached out to last month and she came on board to sponsor, so I moved some ads around and was able to make room for the additional ad space which was terrific.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to catch up on some emails and submit some new photos of the auction participants to our web host, so we can get them on our site! Until tomorrow friends...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Happy Calendar News

Well friends, I am happy to announce that all of our calendar ads are now sold! There was one month that I had been struggling to find a sponsor for and I was getting anxious, since we wrap up the calendar this month. Even though we're only at the beginning of the month, I like to have everything taken care of as soon as possible. It's funny- I'm really obsessed with getting work things done early. I absolutely hate the stress of getting things done at the last minute- it is awful. Last night, I was driving home from Boston and thinking about who I could reach out to for help with calendar sponsorship. I decided that I would reach out to the ambulance company that already sponsored a month in the calendar and see if the CEO could suggest a sponsor that would like to be involved. This morning, as I composed the email, I thought about asking if they could sponsor an additional month instead of suggesting another sponsor. I've never met the CEO personally, but we've talked on the phone and emailed for a few years and he has always expressed his support for our efforts and always gets back to me quickly.  I mentioned it to Marcy, our volunteer who has been helping us for almost a year, and she recommended asking for their support for the second ad and then, if they couldn't do it, asking for a suggestion for a new sponsor. I emailed the CEO and he wrote back almost immediately to say that they would sponsor the second month. I was so happy and felt so relieved- I physically felt lighter. It's funny how one doesn't realize just how much stress they carry around with them until something good happens and the tension is released.

You can't imagine how much I value the people that help our efforts. Most people are not particularly helpful, so it really means a lot when people do care and choose to help us and support our efforts. It gets frustrating dealing with people who don't call you back, take phone calls or respond to emails- particularly when it's people that you know personally. I never take people's help for granted- it is that help that allows us to grow and continue our mission. I could never do this job without significant amount of help from others.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. There's lots more to write about, but I'm taking my calendar sales happiness and heading off to bed (with a detour to the kitchen first to raid the fridge for grapes and cheese..) Until tomorrow friends...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Welcome August!

Well, August is here folks! The Date Auction is next month! All this work and now we are hitting the home stretch. I am excited and also nervous. Our fashion show (October 3) and our 10th Anniversary Celebration (November 1) are getting closer as well.

In good news, we have a liquor sponsor on board for our fashion show. Triple Eight Vodka- a local company- will be donating the alcohol so that each guest will receive a complimentary cocktail at the event. I'm glad that we have that taken care of. It took longer than I had expected. I'm still looking for one more food vendor. We have a lot of dessert vendors, but could do with additional appetizers. We also have a sponsor on board for the show which is great.

Calendar photos are coming along well. We have 4 more photo shoots to do, then I think we will be done. I also have one more calendar month that needs a sponsor. Hopefully, that will get taken care of soon. I did photos this week with some really adorable little kids- so cute that they are a contender for the cover photo.  Yesterday, I did a donation to DCF. I brought my work camera with me because I was heading over to Cambridge to do calendar photos with an ambulance company. I did our usual donation photo, then when I was in the parking lot of the ambulance company- I erased a number of photos to free up space for the next photo shoot. As I was driving over, I was thinking that I needed to erase some photos and I thought that I should make sure not to erase the donation photo I just did. Guess what photo was erased? Yes- I somehow managed to erase the one photo from the DCF donation. Ah, what  a genius! The photos are important because we share them on our FB page and website. It looks a lot better to have a photo to go with our update than just the sentence about our donation.

I did manage to not erase the photo from our donation this week to SMOC for children in homeless shelters. We've been donating stuffed animals, books and coloring books/crayons to them for the past few years. I included some of the beautiful Build-a-Bears in these donations as well. Here is the photo:
Well friends, that's the latest for tonight. I was going to work on a grant that I want to get done in the next couple of weeks, but I'm tired and getting a bit of a headache, so I think I'll hold off on that. So, instead, I think I'll have some watermelon... that sounds like a much more enjoyable plan! Until next time friends..