Monday, May 16, 2011

A Taste of the Tour -- The Journey to a Fundraiser

Stuffing all the gift bags for our attendees!  Woman power at its best.

When I moved from Washington, D.C. to Akron, Ohio back in 2004, I knew no one outside of Tom's family and my sister-in-law.  Lisa, my law school roommate and dear friend, encouraged me to join the Junior League so that I could volunteer and meet some new friends.

Lisa has always been like the older sister I never had, but always wanted.  She is very busy with a full-time career and family and although we don't see each other often enough she always has an encouraging word or good idea.  When I was pregnant with Joey and told her about him having Down syndrome she shared with me that when she was a foreign exchange student in France, she lived with a family who owned a French car dealership and their youngest son had Down syndrome.  She shared stories of the family and their son and she helped me know that all would be more than fine--all would be great, once Joey arrived.

As usual, I'm so very happy that I took Lisa's advice.  Not only did I meet new friends (and some of my closest ones at that!) in the Junior League, but I've had the opportunity to work on incredible projects from Game Night at Saferstein Towers, to the Tea Party, to this year's event-- A Taste of the Tour.

It's always a challenge to create an event from scratch, but this year I had the opportunity to work with current Junior League members (including a past president and a future president), sustaining advisors (including some past presidents) as well as two of our newest members who brought an incredible amount of enthusiasm and joy to our committee.

A Taste of the Tour was really just that-- it was a "taste" or a "sneak peek" of this coming weekend's full three-day, six house Show House 2011 Designer Kitchen Tour.  Our event was held yesterday from 2-5 pm and featured four of the six houses on the full tour along with food tastings from Bricco, Sammy's, Samira and Vaccaro's along with Heavenly Bites, The West Side Baker and Tiffany's Bakery.   

Creating this event meant asking local restaurants and bakeries to donate enough samples for every single guest.  It also meant asking our gracious homeowners to open their homes for an additional day outside of the regular three day tour.  

We had meeting after meeting throughout the winter to plan and prepare. Finally, this past Saturday the map and goodie bag process began at the JLA House.  

All the attendee goodie bags stuffed and ready for pick up.

The Patron goodie bags full of some extra treats.

Our drive-thru, pick up process helped make things go smoothly.

Dana and Jeana- ready for pick ups.

Jen, Jen, Janis, Jeana and Dana working the Saturday shift.

Daphine and her mother, Dorothy picking up items for Sunday's tour.

Saturday's pick up went pretty smoothly and we sold some extra tickets, which made it even better.  By Sunday morning we were all dispersed to the four homes on the tour.  The hard part was that by having four separate homes, our committee was dotted across West Akron and Bath and we had no idea how things were going at the other houses while we were at own homes.

Dana and I worked at the Christine Haught, Ltd. home in Bath along with Jillian and Stephanie.  The first delivery of the day at the house we worked at was a gorgeous floral design from the tour's premier floral designer--Lori Reilly of Reilly's Originals.

Lori designed floral arrangements for each of the four homes on the tour and delivered them and set them up the morning of the tour-- they were breathtaking.

After the flowers were set up and delivered, the food arrived!!  Vaccaro's provided the food for the house we were at and it was fabulous Tomato Bruschetta with balsamic glaze.

Christine Haught--the homeowner and some of her staff.

Once the food was set up--the guests started to arrive!

Our Junior League Crew

                              Our first guests of the day--Nicole and Amanda. 
Debby (an amazing mom who also has a son with an extra chromosome like our son).

Jeana and her husband.

Shannon, me, Maria, Kelly, Shelley and Heather

Our Limo Ride winners.

My in-laws-- Ann and Dave (she is also sustainer JLA member).

At the end of the day we raised a good amount of money for the new Junior League focus project which will help support fighting childhood obesity.

It was such a fun day and so many people gave their time, their money, their talent and their goods to make it happen.  As we all know-- it truly takes a village.

It has been so much fun being a co-chair with Janis and Jennie and I look forward to future projects.  I'm also excited to figure out what projects I can work on to help further education and research funding for Down syndrome.  That is obviously a new passion and I can't wait to dig in and help raise some major funds for it!

1 comment:

  1. Jen, next time I need to run a fundraiser, I am contacting you. Also, I need pictures of "the boys". I miss their sweet faces.


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