Seven Things I’ve Learned from Planning Our Charity Event

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As many of you know, Mark and I have our biggest charity event coming up. It’s not that ALL of our events aren’t a big deal and that you shouldn’t come to them all, but this one is the one that I have been thinking about since before we APPLIED to the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge. I put the idea in my application.  If you’re looking for event info, where to go, how to get tickets, etc,  please click “Events” in the Title Bar above or click HERE.

For me, this has been reminiscent of wedding planning–working with the venue, conceptualizing decorations, working out menus, coordinating with food vendors, thinking about who is coming and when. Who has promised to come versus who has bought their ticket? This also comes with the extra work of having to get donations for most of of the things that will be at the actual event.

So now, the day before before the big event, here are some of the things that I’ve learned along with a few little previews.

  1. There’s a template for almost everything you want to print, if you just google it. Just few:
    1. Wine Bottle Label Template–this is the one I used,Wine-Bottle-Table-Number-Template, I’ve already forgotten where I got it, and for some reason can’t find it again. I had to play around with it a lot to make it more than simple table numbers and modified it a lot for the final product….but then I also used it for some table tents by moving the text to the bottle of the page and folding the printed card stock in half.
    2. Round Sticker Template-This is from PaperSource and works perfectly with their labels. You can find them HERE . I guess the secret to share is that we’ve used these before–they were the seals on our the envelopes for our wedding invitations.
    3. Table Tent Template- also from PaperSource (HERE) however instead of using their table tent templates, we just printed these on to the same cardstock used above, and then cut them with the tiny paper trimmer that we bought when we were doing invitations for our wedding.

The drink tickets, when you see them, were entirely of my own creation, as were many of the graphics that we used on the templates. Or at least they were modified from different items in many ways. As I was creating these things, spending hours obsessing after work, I often thought “Maybe I should have been a graphic designer.” Of course, the “modifying” graphics and not always creating completely new art work probably rules that out.

IMG_8727          IMG_8726         IMG_8721

    1. Pinterest is pretty cool.  I’ve been a hold out for a very long time. Sure, I’ve looked at what they’ve allowed me to see without an account and found a few neat hairstyles….but it has genuinely been helpful for event ideas, how-to’s etc. I know the rest of the world knew this already, but I am now willing to accept its utility as fact. For instance, there’s this little gem:
  1. “Easy” perforation for tickets? Using your sewing machine. Works better if the paper is a little thicker
  2. I’ve learned which of my friends are the booziest….ahem, most supportive.
    1. Provided empty wine bottles. Helped empty wine bottles.
    2. Bought tickets immediately. I mean, anyone who bought tickets is a friend, but thank you to those people who bought them early. It helped quell some of the “Will people really come to this event??!” anxiety!
  3. I probably wouldn’t really want to be a wedding planner if my nursing career didn’t work out. This has taken so so much time. For those of you who have planned weddings recently, you know what I’m talking about. However, much like wedding planning, I’m hoping that this day and event will be beautiful, things will go smoothly, and happy things will come out of it. Just in this case, the result is money for cancer research.
  4. People can me amazingly generous. I’m talking about the vendors—many of them have been incredible! Union Square Donuts was SO quick to say yes to donating donut holes and talked to me on the phone for quite a while about how much they love what they do. FancyPants Baking Co. encouraged me to EAT a whole bag of cookies and then told me about their plans to run a 1/2 marathon (there, Maura, now you have to do it!) Angela from Garment Valet has shown SUCH exuberance for the event, and again, was an ecstatic “Yes!” from the beginning. Oakleaf Cakes threw in the cupcake stand, delivery and set up. Many of the vendors also reposted our events!
  5. I married a great guy. I knew this one already, but a huge project like this is a reminder. Who is willing to drive 20 minutes away to the Home Depot to find specific color of spray paint I had envisioned, even though it might not actually exist? (This is instead of just grabbing what’s available from the place nearby after I hemmed and hawed over it for no less than 10 minutes.) Who has enough patience to loop around Michael’s Crafts no less than 3 full times, as I poke, prod, and examine each item, contemplating necessity and price? And then he’s willing to pay separately for a craft item, because I have a 50% off coupon, but it’s one coupon per customer. Who is willing to engage in a conversation about exactly what size cellophane bags should be purchased and is that better aesthetically and than a cupcake liner (this conversation has happened more than once…..and he actually has an opinion)? Who else just goes with it and helps when I set out a bunch of things to spray paint, drill, cut, glue, tape and print all the while trusting my “artistic vision”? Who helps me make lists so that we know exactly what to bring? Who offers to take tickets at the door so that I can socialize? Yup, he’s pretty great.

So those are just a few of the things that I’ve learned.

If you’ve made it to the end of this blog post, here’s a special preview of our wine pairing menu! We’ve also got five gluten free sets of sweets–only two are spoken for at this time!

Sips Pairings Labels

This entry was posted in cancer, charity, dana-farber, Running, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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