Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Date Auction Success!

Well friends- we did it! The Date Auction was a huge success! We raised $21,000 and had approximately 450 guests attending. It was our first time having it at Venu and it was a great space for our event. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am that everything went well. It is such a relief. I reminded myself to take a few minutes during the event and slow down and take it all in. I looked out at the crowd of people and I wanted to cry. It was such a lovely sight. We've come so far and work so hard, it is a feeling that is almost indescribable when it all comes together. It a mixture of happiness, pride, disbelief, relief and joy. Our hosts did an amazing job. They worked so well together and managed to keep a high energy level going throughout the event which is no easy task since it is a long auction. They both said they wanted to host again, which is great. I'd love to have them back. Our bachelors/ettes did a wonderful job as well, it was a really good group of participants. Our volunteers and staffers from KF& T did an excellent job as well. They helped make everything run smoothly and I am so grateful. Thank you to our sponsors as well- they are so important to our event.

I posted the first load of photos on our website from photographer Paul Robinson. Here is the link:

Well, now that the Date Auction is over, it is full force on our next big event- the 10th Anniversary Celebration on November 1. We also have a fashion show fundraiser next Thursday. I need to go and do a final proof of the 2014 calendar so we can get that off to the printer. On that note, I'm going to catch up on some emails. Thank you for all the good wishes for the Date Auction. I am so grateful for everyone's support and for everyone who was a part of our event- from the bottom of my heart, thank you for making it a success. Until tomorrow friends...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Night Before

Well, here we are friends- the night before another Date Auction. I have enough butterflies churning to start my own butterfly exhibit. We've been here six times before, but the feelings never get old. It's a combination of excitement and nerves. The good thing is that no matter what happens tomorrow, I know that I've put everything I have into this event and I'm proud of the effort. I can't think of anything else that needs to be done to prepare for tomorrow night and hopefully everything goes smoothly. We've done awesome marketing and I'm so appreciative of everyone who helped promote the event. We have things that we've never had before- including a photo booth from Boston Mojo and our own step & repeat that was generously donated by Anchor & Star, a local printing/design company. Some of our participants have sent in the song that they are going to come onstage to which is really fun. Our DJ has been great in getting the music organized that they want to play. We have two newspapers that are coming to photograph the event which is terrific.

I did a radio interview on the Michael Graham show which airs on BostonHeraldRadio.com and 6 AM stations. The show's producer, Adam, is one of our bachelors participating, so he invited me to call in to the show to talk about the event. I love doing radio interviews- they are always so much fun. Radio personalities are also really good with interviewing people. It was a little over 5 minutes which was good. I'm going to see if Adam can send me the clip so we can put it on our website.

 So wish me luck tomorrow please! There is a lot of pressure to have a successful event, obviously for financial reasons and to keep generating good buzz. I also have to justify the enormous amount of time that goes into this event- it is time that wasn't spent on other things. Things are looking good for tomorrow- we are in an excellent place for advanced ticket sales. We only had one person drop out since the programs were printed. So, lets keep our fingers crossed that we have a wonderful night tomorrow! Until next time friends... hopefully, next time I will be telling you about a great night and successful event!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Another Love Story

Well friends, I am happy to report that we have another Date Auction love story! A couple met in our 5th Annual Date Auction in 2011 and married this summer! LeWuan was one of three Coast Guard members that we auctioned off that year. Maryellen was a guest and she was actually outbid for a date with LeWuan. Despite that, they got together and it was happily ever after! I found out from a girl who is also in the Coast Guard who signed up to particpate in this year's Date Auction. We were emailing back and forth and she told me that she went our event in 2011 to support her Coast Guard friends that were in the auction. She also told me that LeWuan married the woman he met at the event. I emailed LeWuan to confirm and ask if he could send a photo over that we could share. I didn't hear anything for a few weeks and had actually forgotten about it, but LeWuan emailed me today to confirm that they met at our event and he sent me a photo of them both. Here it is ladies and gentlemen... our second Date Auction marriage!
I'm so happy that our event was able to bring them together. It is really something that we've had 2 marriages from our event. It helps give another meaning to the name Project Smile! I emailed our hosts to let them know and I also emailed Karson and Kennedy who hosted the event that year to let them know that one of the couples got married. I thought they would like to know as well. I submitted it to our web host, so it should be on our website tomorrow.

In other news, I picked up our Date Auction programs today. They look great. Tomorrow, I am picking up our Step & Repeat that was donated to us. I can't wait to see it. Step and Repeats are the back drops that people take photos of in front of events. This will be our first time having one that is just for Project Smile. I have one that Smiling Stiletto and Project Smile on it. I'm going to set it up and take photos in front of it tomorrow!

Well, I'm off to finish this grant that I've been making excellent progress on. I also need to send Lisa the updates for our 10th Anniversary invitation, but I'm getting tired so that might have to wait until tomorrow morning. Until tomorrow friends... please keep wishing me happy ticket sales!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Home Stretch

Well friends, here we are- we've hit the home stretch. We just have 4 days to go until our biggest fundraiser! I am full of butterflies. It doesn't seem quite real that it is actually here. All this work, all the stress, everything that needs to come together and it will all come down to 3 hours on a Friday night. It is amazing how you work so hard for what will be just a brief moment in time. That's what Olympic athletes do all the time. Almost a lifetime of work comes down to a few minutes performance. Not that I'm comparing myself to an Olympic athlete! 

We are in good shape for Friday. Our second email blast to everyone who opened last week's email from Boston Event Guide is going out tomorrow morning. One of our bachelors who works for talk radio invited me to call-in to the station on Wednesday afternoon to talk about the event. I love speaking on the radio. Melissa from 96.9 said she would talk about it on-air during the week as well, which is great. I sent another email blast to our PS base on Friday and I'll send another on Wednesday morning. The good thing is that I'm doing everything possible with our marketing- it has even increased from last year.

Tomorrow, I'm heading over to Staples in Watertown to pick up our event programs- then I can hopefully stop dreaming about having a Date Auction without any programs. It is a bit of a drive to that Staples, but I know the manager from when she worked in our local store. She is really nice, gives a good deal on our jobs and things get done properly. I stopped going to my local Staples for big printing jobs because I had some bad experiences in their print department.

Well, I'm off to work on a grant that I want to get done this week. I also need to do a final proof of our PS calendar this week and I need to send updates to Lisa so she can get the print version of our 10th Anniversary paper invitation done. It's a busy week! Until tomorrow... please keep wishing me happy ticket sales! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Week and a Day

Well, guess who is feverishly counting down until Sept. 20 (aka Date Auction night)? Me! Guess who is also feverishly checking ticket sales and comparing them to where we were at the same point last year? Me! In good news, we are still on track for ticket sales compared to last year. That is always a relief. I emailed all of our bachelors/ettes today with the details and event break-down. It is a very detailed email, but it is important to give the participants all the information so they know exactly what to expect at the event. I also asked them to keep helping spread the word and bring their friends. When they signed up, they were asked to commit to bringing  5 guests with them to the event. That is one of the best forms of marketing.

I picked up the Improper Bostonian which has our second Date Auction ad in it. The ad was perfectly placed on the same page that listed nightclub events in the city. It is a half page ad and looks awesome. I'm still in shock that they donated two ads to us. That was really amazing. I mailed a card to the publisher yesterday to thank her again for donating the ads.

The Sofft shoes gift cards and display shoes arrived along with the cards for the gift bags. Sofft also gave me a pair of shoes to wear for the event. I chose the Mya- which is an elegant oxford style shoe in gray suede. They are really comfortable and they look so darn cute on. I didn't want to take them off. Here is the link to the shoes.

Sofft has given me a pair of shoes to wear for almost every event. They are very generous. Last year, I wore  a pair of green suede pumps with an ankle strap. I wore them a lot during the year. I'm excited to wear these shoes after the event as well. They will go with a lot of outfits.

Well, I'm going to get back to work- I was working on organizing the gift certs. for the 'couples'. I started doing the bid sheets for the silent auction. I want to get those all done tomorrow so it is one less thing to think about next week.
Until next time friends.. please keep wishing us many Date Auction ticket sales!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Well friends, the countdown is on until the Date Auction! Well, to be accurate- I've been counting down for over 6 months, but now are only 10 days away. Ah, the butterflies! Things are looking good though. We're at the same place for ticket sales as we were this time last year. That is important because last year was an awesome turn out and it we want to match that attendance or increase it. The Boston Globe Names section did an awesome write-up about the Date Auction in Friday's paper. Here is a photo of it directly from the paper. It is amazing to be included in the Names section.
The Improper Bostonian also donated a second ad for the Date Auction which was a wonderful surprise. The ad just came out on Sunday in their latest magazine. It is a half page ad which is beautiful. I had always wanted to advertise the event in the Improper, but could never afford it, so to have them so generously offer to donate one ad, then donate a second one is really wonderful.

In other news, I made excellent progress last night on one of the grants that I have to work on. I've been getting sick of hearing myself talk about how I have to work on the grants and I was also getting tired of writing it on my list every time, so I decided that progress needed to be made no matter what. I'm going to back and keep working tonight so I can get this one finished and in the mail tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I'm off to Braintree to pick up the sports memorabilia photos for the silent auction at the Date Auction. I wanted to pick them up this week so it is one less thing to do next week. I also want to get the bid sheets started tomorrow so that can be done as well. The less there is to do next week, the better.

On that note, off I go to get some grapes from the fridge and head off to grant world. Keep wishing me more ticket sales please! Until tomorrow friends...

Friday, September 6, 2013

It's Getting Real..

Well, it is getting real friends... I did the Date Auction walk-thru at Venu today. There is something about doing a walk-thru that makes an event even more real. Up until now it is all a collection of emails, ads, photos, profiles, sponsors, gift bag items, auction items, promo materials- everything that needs to come together. When you physically walk into the venue and go over the layout-  it becomes that much more real. I've been working with Vanessa at Venu and she has been awesome. It really means a lot to work with a venue that is welcoming and helpful. Events are a challenge to organize, so when you have good people to work with, it makes it that much easier. Vanessa was very helpful in making suggestions for the layout. This is our first time having the event at Venu, so it takes extra time to figure out where everything is going to go. Gregory, the  owner of Boston Mojo Photo Booth stopped by as well and we decided on a location for the photobooth. I can't tell you how excited I am to have a photo booth at the event- amazing!

Things are moving along well with ticket sales, so that is a good sign. We lost a few bachelors and bachelorettes over the last couple of days, but I was able to replace them immediately with people from the waiting list, so that wasn't a big deal. It really sucks to lose people once the program is printed, but up until that point it is fairly easy to swap people out. We wait until as close to the event as possible to get the program printed. I had an anxiety dream last month that I was at the Date Auction and didn't have any tables or programs, so I would be happier to get the program printed as soon as we can.

In other good news- the first draft of our 2014 calendar is ready! I just looked at it briefly tonight and it looks great. I need to take time and go through it carefully- checking the calendar dates, ads and photos- making sure everything is where it needs to be.

Well friends, I was about to go back and do some more work, but I'm getting tired and should go to sleep. I'm also getting a bit of a headache, which is another good reason to go to bed. On a separate note- happy 27th birthday to my beautiful sister Cordelia!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Welcome September

Welcome September! I can't believe September is actually here. Nine months of work and now are are only two weeks and two days until the Date Auction. It is exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. Things are in good shape. We lost a couple of bachelors and bachelorettes over the last few days for a variety of reasons, but they were immediately replaced. Our new flyer is going out to our database tomorrow morning, but you get to see it right now!
The photos look great. If I saw this event advertised, I would be really excited to go to it.

I'm really happy with the people that I have that help keep things moving smoothly for us. Our web host does a really great job. There were a bunch of Date Auction updates that I needed done immediately and they were nice enough to do them the same day without charging extra for having it rushed. Richard, who owns the company, also got our flyer formatted in Constant Contact very quickly for me. I have to spend some much time following up with people for all sorts of things, so it is such a relief when people do things quickly. The Date Auction is such a time sensitive issue, so it was especially important to get these updates done quickly.

Well, there is lots more to write about, but I'm getting tired. I was planning to get a lot more work done, but I think I'm going to go to bed soon and get a good start on things tomorrow. I'll be dreaming of ticket sales! Until tomorrow friends...