on throwing a party

Friday, May 1, 2009

You may remember that on Friday night of this weekend past, Todd and I were the chair people for an annual fundraising event for our Local Art Center. Our community is so fortunate to have a facility like this. The Art Center is affiliated with a small cinema (which gets the real movies that the local 'big box' theatre doesn't think they will make any money on...think Brokeback Mountain and The Wrestler). The Art Center has also built The Warehouse which is a great space with an apartment for artists-in-residence to work and live in. It is a wonderful space for working, gathering and partying.
Anyhoo, this year Todd and I were asked to chair the first year of a new party, WarehouseLIVE, benefiting the various programs at the Art Center. The band was Disco Dick and the Mirror Balls, and naturally, the theme was DISCO! Both Todd and I headed up 2 committees. Mine were Raffle/Sign-Up-Parties and Logistics and Todd's were Fun and Sponsorship. Our goal was to raise $25,000. I thought you might be interested in seeing what we did to raise money...

Raffle Items:
We raffled off 4 really cool "techie" items. With Julochka's help, we came up with these ideas: A Kindle (2nd generation even...donated by an avid reader who loves hers), An ipod touch (donated by my mama), a netbook, and a FLIP camera. We raised cash donations to pay for the netbook and the FLIP.

Raffle #2 was for 2 Saturday night tickets to Wicked, which opens in Omaha, NE at the Orpheum on May 6th (the tickets were donated by a committee member). The package came with hotel accommodations at The Magnolia Hotel (donated by the hotel) and brunch for 2 at Vivace (again, donated by the restaurant). Another committee member also purchased the Wicked soundtrack CD and the souvenir book for the winner to take with them that evening.

Raffle #3 was a trip for 2 for 4 days and 3 nights to Napa...yes Napa. A frequent business flyer donated his miles for the airline tickets, and another who has many Mariott points donated them for the hotel stay at the Sonoma Resort. Marriott does a cool thing for charities: they allow you to convert your points into a gift certificate (at little or no charge) in order to donate it to the charity. The airlines are not as easy to work with, but if you have someone who has a lot of points, they can just book your flight directly with no additional fees.

Raffle #4 was for 4 bottles of scotch. I know they were good ones, but sadly, I know nothing about that particular kind of alcohol. If you are curious about them, email me and I will ask my spouse.Raffle #5 was for food. Not just any food, but 3 winners get food made by wonderful local cooks during 4 different months. There were things like Francie's home made cherry pie, Wendy's coconut creme pie, and Tom's chicken green chili soup, and home made bread. MMMMM.

The next items were all "sign-up parties." If you don't know, this is a party that has a set price per person to attend. Hosts and themes are acquired before the event, and both help to get people to "sign-up" for the party.
Sign-up party #1 was called a Cocktail Crawl. It was $65 per person for 32 people. Attendees will be split into 4 groups and will rotate to the 4 host's fabulous homes for a cocktail and hors d'oeuvres. An antique firetruck will take guests from one place to another. This party sold out, and even has a waiting list!

Sign Up Party #2 was the Band Blast. For $45 per person (100 people can attend) you get to listen to a great local band, and eat pizza and drink beer! How great of a deal is that?

The third sign up party was $150 per person for 8 people. It was a locavore dinner hosted by my boss, his wife and one of their sons and his wife. They are FABULOUS and experimental (and willing) cooks. I thought it would be fun for them to cook a meal (served on their amazing deck) made only of local items. The meal is in July, so there will be all sorts of wonderful fruits and veggies for them to cook with. We also have several local, organic dairies and beef farms nearby, so it should be fun! This party sold out in a flash...which is good as I was a little worried at $150 per person.

The last sign-up party was a Costume Ball. This party is AWESOME! The hosts will rent full costumes for all 50 guests. For $100 per person, you will get a costume, drinks and food, and can dance the night away as an alter-ego. How great is that? Someone to take your measurements, bring you your costume and provide you with drinks and music and food...that is MY kind of party!

As you can see, we made up little vignettes for each thing to give the WarehouseLIVE guests a feel for each give-away and party. This is a really long post, and if you are interested in more, let me know. I am happy to share any and all ideas with you. Some day I will tell you about the food we served...it was a hoot!


5 Responses to “on throwing a party”
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Those are brilliant auction ideas. We participate in an auction for a local theater company each year and I might just have to steal most (or all) of those ideas. Such great creativity from your group. Did you make your fund raising goal?

@kristin - please, do steal the ideas, but share some of yours too! WE will need them for other years!

email me at suckerformarketing(at) gmail(dot)com and I will fill you in on the other details.

As far as the goal...we were at
$18K at last check. We still have 50 more spots to fill on the band blast, and 25-30 on the Costume Ball, so when those all fill, we will be really, really close!

Wow. Those are some prizes and there's a shitload of them. Well done!

love the locavore party idea. :-) i think you did very well with all that brainstorming we IMed that one day. :-) well done!!! (i feel like i'm writing this all the time) these days!!

Looks like you went all out and put an anazing amount of effort into it! The prizes/raffles were awesome! I wish I could have attended...