Thursday, June 26, 2014

Latest and Greatest

Greetings friends! I hope everyone is enjoying this summer weather- it has been awesome! So what's new? Well, things are moving along well with calendar photos. They are coming out great so far. I have a photo scheduled for tomorrow morning with a twins play group that I've photographed before. Photographing twins is particularly fun. The photo shoot that I had scheduled for today is rescheduled for next Tuesday because it was raining in the afternoon.

In other good news, we have a returning Date Auction sponsor back on board at the same level. We're almost at our sponsorship goal which is excellent. I still have a long ways to go in recruiting bachelors/ettes, but that is OK- it is early and there is no point in signing people up early just to have the meet someone and drop out when it gets closer. After the 4th July, I'll be going full force on recruiting participants.

In even more good news- I received an email tonight from a producer for a radio show that airs on an NPR affiliate. They are doing a show on stuffed animals and want to have me on! I don't know yet if I will be in their studios or calling in. I love doing radio interviews so much- radio people are always super nice and it is such a fun format. This is good exposure for us and I'm really happy that they reached out to us!

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to tidy up my office for a bit, send thank you notes to people who've donated stuffed animals recently and I want to start a mystery that my sister gave me. She always recommends good books for me. I can't remember the title, otherwise I'd let you know! Until tomorrow friends...

Monday, June 23, 2014

Calendar Photos Kick-Off

Greetings friends! I hope everyone is loving this delightful summer weather. Happy official start of summer! I love summer, but I start to get anxious because it means our 2 big fall events are getting closer and closer. So what's new? Well, tomorrow is our first photo shoot for our 2015 calendar. I always like to start calendar photos- I forgot how much fun they are until I start them. We're off to a later start than usual, but that's OK. I have 3 photo shoots scheduled this week, so that's good. Hopefully the weather will cooperate for the rest of the week. I decided to create an email invitation to recruit new families to participate in the calendar. I hadn't done that before, but I really want to include as many children as possible, so figured an email invite would be a good start. I was so happy with the way the email blast came out. It is something that I would want to participate in after seeing the invite. I use Constant Contact for our email blasts. It can be buggy at times, but I really do like it. Their templates are good and they've made some big improvements to their service in recent years.

I seem to have stalled a bit of calendar sponsors, so I need to get back to that tomorrow. I'm waiting to hear from a number of sponsors- I always seem to be waiting to hear from people or following up. Most days, I spend at least a third of the day simply following up with people that I've already reached out to. Following up gets rather tiresome. In my perfect world, people would always respond promptly. I always try to keep in mind that everyone is busy and I'm not always the best about getting back to all the inquires I get for stuffed animal donations- but even keeping that in mind, it does get frustrating to always be spending so much time chasing after people. 

Well friends, there's lots more to write about, but my eyes are hurting and I'm getting tired. Until tomorrow friends...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Latest and Greatest

Greetings friends! So what's the latest? Well, we received a $500 donation from the Walmart Foundation today which was very nice. They alternate between donating $500- $1,000 annually. Walmart was our very first corporate donor, all the way back in 2005. So it always makes me extra happy when I see a check from Walmart. I have a vivid memory of how excited I was to get that first $1,000 donation- we had so little then and every day I struggled to figure out how to raise the money to get us going. I was so grateful to have their support.

Tomorrow, I'm off to Leominster to donate stuffed animals, books, coloring books/crayons and some art supplies for children who are living in shelters. I received a letter last week, from Bob- an older Leominster lawyer who I met through Project Smile. I met him many years ago and I don't even remember how anymore. He donates every year to help our efforts. In his letter, he said that there are 200 homeless children living in Leominster. Bob reached out to local churches and is helping coordinate a donation of items for the kids. They have 2 evenings in June that they are going to motels where a large number of children are living and dropping off a variety of nice items for them. Bob reached out to me to see if we could help with some items. I called him yesterday and said we were happy to help. I'm dropping them off tomorrow.

In other news- we're making progress with getting auction items for the Anniversary Celebration. We got some certificates arriving in the mail today. The downside is that I didn't get any commitments from anyone today for items. It always gets a little frustrating when you spend hours working on a task but don't have any results to show for. This job requires a lot of patience.

I've been reaching out to calendar sponsors and we're doing well with getting sponsors to recommit. I started reaching out to families whose children might like to participate- still waiting to hear back from a bunch of people. 

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to get boxes ready for our donation tomorrow and then watch another episode of Veep- one of the best shows on TV- I love it! Until tomorrow friends..

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thursday Happenings

Greetings friends! So what's shaking? Well, we are chugging along- slow and steady, that's how we roll. I had a phone call yesterday with a potential Date Auction sponsor which went well. They agreed that our event would be perfect fit for their target audience. They didn't commit yet, but hopefully I will hear back soon with some good news. I was feeling like I was very far behind on getting auction items for our Anniversary Celebration, so I've been putting major effort in yesterday and today on getting items. The good news is that I did get a number of commitments from donors for items. A few weeks ago, I applied online for Disney World passes for the live auction. They responded yesterday that they will be sending 4 day passes again, which is excellent. Those are worth almost $500. I want to apply to get more airline tickets donated as well- those are always popular, high value items. I also need to find some more area golf courses that would like to donate.

We're also making progress on the calendar front as well. One of the sponsors that advertises in 2 calendar months said they were back on board again. I also set up a date to calendar photos with them too. I was at one of my monthly networking events last night and spoke with one of our calendar sponsors who quickly agreed to sponsor again, which was great. It always makes me so happy when people are so readily helpful. Today- I contacted a local tourist attraction that donates passes annually for our auction. In the past, I've had to mail a letter along with a stamped envelope and they would send the passes- it's not a big deal, but it is a little extra work. I emailed the marketing director to make sure that he was still handling the donations and to check that I could mail over a letter and stamped envelope. He wrote back almost immediately and said he would mail 2 passes- no need for a letter or envelope. Now this may not sound like a big deal, but when you're spending most of the day auction item hunting, a nice gesture like that means so much.

I accidentally found a website tonight that lists a number of retailers and other companies with direct links to their donation pages and also includes some notes about what the business funds. I was clicking on some of the links and the info looks accurate. I found it when I was looking up airlines that would donate tickets for the auction. It looks like a great find- I'm feeling inspired to get back to applying for donations! Anything that gets one inspired after already spending hours on the same task is rather impressive!

On that note, I'm off to watch game 1 of the NBA finals, eat some more delicious melon and apply online for auction items. Wish me luck! Until next time friends..

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Welcome June!

Welcome to June friends! How is it already June? Ah, how fast everything goes. I'm happy that the warm, sunny weather is finally here and it looks like it will be staying for a while. It's such a pretty time of the year when everything starts to bloom. I feel like I need more time to get prepared for our fall events- they are going to be here before we know it and we still have a long way to go. The good thing is that we're in our usual place- I just like to worry about everything.

We had a very nice Smiling Stiletto fundraiser on Friday night at the new Assembly Row lifestyle center in Somerville. The weather wasn't the best, but we still had a good turnout and raised over $500. Assembly Row did a great job in organizing the event- it was a cocktail mix-off with the bartenders from Assembly Row restaurants competing. Karson from Mix 104.1 hosted the event- he did a great job, especially with the hosting the Best-in-Shoe competition. He co-hosted our Date Auction for a couple of years with Kennedy.

In other news, we have our first sponsor committed for the 2015 calendar. This week, I making serious effort in getting sponsors lined up and start scheduling some photo shoots. I reached out to some other sponsors to get them back on board as well- didn't hear back from them yet. The goal is to be half way done with the calendar by the end of the month- that is usually where we are.

Tomorrow night, I'm off to a women in media and entertainment networking event in Boston. I just the group recently and I'm really looking forward to the event. I've heard that it was a good group. My job isn't exactly in that field, but I work on media outreach all the time, so I want to make more connections in those fields.

Well, that's the latest for tonight- I'm getting tired. I'm off to eat blueberries and yogurt. Summer fruit is starting to emerge and it makes me very happy. I just had some delicious fresh pineapple. I can't wait until I eat my first watermelon of the summer! Until tomorrow friends..