Nov 8, 2010

S'more Soiree!

This weekend I had my first ever fundraising event (as a professional fundraiser as opposed to as a volunteer). I don't mean to brag but it went great!

I went out to camp on Friday to get the set-up underway. That was when I began to fully understand the glorious-ness of our camp staff. Through every word of this post if I say "we" I mean "90% was done by camp staff and I did a measly 10%." Camp staff rocks.

So anyways, set up Friday night and at 9 a.m. on Saturday the very first people began to arrive. By noon 90% of our 120 participants were on site. We had lunch in the dining hall - delicious - and then at 1 p.m. workshops began. I can confidently tell you now that the hardest part of the weekend is 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., the initial check in and kick off of workshops. During that we're all still wondering how its going to go, participants have lots of questions, there's lots of last minute details to scramble for, etc. Once workshops begin, piece of metaphorical cake.

Our workshops were many and varied but to give you a sampling we had high ropes challenge, horseback riding, massages, facials, a style show by Neiman Marcus, 2 cooking classes, jazzercise, yoga and much much more. It's a combo of traditional and non-traditional camp activities, most with a grown up twist.

During workshops my biggest challenge was to ensure that the volunteer facilitators arrived at camp in time and got set up. We had one hiccup here: an acupuncturist had to cancel last  minute due to a family emergency. The participants were great though. They just rolled with the punches and enjoyed other activities instead. Otherwise we had a few run a little late but all that meant was a quicker set up than initially planned. Thank goodness for working in a time cushion!

At 6 p.m. we had cocktail hour. We were really fortunate to have a caterer donate all the appetizers for this - really took some pressure off of our kitchen staff/volunteers. Then dinner at 7 p.m. and a live concert at around 8: 30 p.m. The concert was one of the best parts. Sara Hickman, a local musician played, and had everyone dancing for more than 2 hours. We had ladies dancing on chairs, conga lines and more. Obviously a big hit. Even our few male staffers got pulled into it - I mean what else could they do when the singer asked them to take the stage with her? Of course they obliged!

Then a late bedtime, breakfast at 8 a.m. and a final workshop at 9:30. Everything wrapped up around 11 a.m. 24 hours of fun and beautiful weather. (Btw, we could not have possibly had better weather! Sunny and in the 70s without a cloud in the sky!)

I haven't totally finished counting the pennies yet but I expect us to hit $70,000 in total funds raised. At my last rough count we were at $69,500 so I'm confident in $70k. The previous record for this event was $62,000 so I'm feeling great! When I have photos, I'll be sure to share them.

It was a long (though wonderful) weekend. I'm taking today for some much needed rest: hair cut, pedicure, blogging, couch-sitting, etc.

PS Last week The November Plan was 50% a success. I did exactly 200 minute of cardio but with S'more Soiree and the bar results, I required 3 nights of celebratory cocktails.

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