Friday, July 29, 2011

Volunteering - Sometimes Volunteering Is Just One Big Party

pictured: Mary Carol Garrity and Macie Craven, photo by: Kelly Beane Photography

As you know if you have been following my posts volunteering, community service, and humanitarian acts comes in all shapes and sizes. If you love an illustrious luncheon or an elaborate gala this last volunteerism post is for you. 

Who does not want to wear a pretty dress and enjoy an extravagant evening out with their friends or significant other? It is fun, right? People do not mind paying for something when they are receiving something in return. Whether you are looking for a good time to support a good cause or looking to support a good cause by hosting a good time, a fundraiser may be just the ticket for you. 

If you are looking to fund your cause by throwing a fundraiser you want your event to be a fun party, but think of it as planning a wedding reception. Every bride and groom want their guests to have an exciting and memorable time. To ensure a successful event they turn to multiple sources: caterer/baker, venue, entertainment, florist, etc. When organizing a fundraiser you need one person to handle each major detail. That person then builds their own team of volunteers to handle the minor details. Knowing your function in this machine is crucial. There is a fine line between diligently monitoring and micro-managing...I admit I struggle with this. 

I have attended many fundraisers and chaired a couple. My best advice is go to several fundraisers before you chair one. See what you and the other attendees like about the event. Keep a list of things you might want to repeat, which fundraisers you enjoyed, and any contacts for people working those events. Problems always arise, so, start small...and early. You want to have fielded some hills before you are hit with a mountain. 

The one I would like to bring you today is a luncheon I am currently co-chairing. Annually, Kappa Alpha Theta’s Oklahoma City Alumnae chapter hosts, Flaming Festival, a luncheon benefitting a non-profit organization, and our national philanthropy, Court Appointed Special Advocates, otherwise known as CASA: a volunteer network of individuals representing interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom and other settings. This year’s local non-profit organization is the SKIL Program facilitated by Youth Services for Oklahoma County. SKIL provides food, toiletries, counseling, life skills education, emergency financial assistance, and resources needed to graduate high school for students that for unfortunate situations live on their own without any financial or emotional assistance from parents. 

This year Flaming Festival will be held at the beautiful Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club on November 2nd, 2011 from 10 am to 4 pm. If you would like reservations for the luncheon and festival admission, please mail a $60 check to Kappa Alpha Theta, c/o Julie Branch, 6400 N.W. Expressway, #637, Oklahoma City, OK  73132, or call (405)728-0568 for more information. Tickets to attend the festival only will be available for $5.00 at the door. Feel free to leave any questions in the comment section of this post and I will respond to you. 

This year Mary Carol Garrity, revered lifestyle authority, creator of a decorating book series, syndicated columnist, and founder of Nell Hill’s, will entertain our luncheon guests with an interview style conversation. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Mary Carol to chat over some details involving our event at her Kansas City store a few weeks back. She is a delightful, energetic individual. Most impressively, your chances of seeing Mary Carol when you visit her store are actually quite good. Her concern and interest in helping with our fundraising event is evident and appreciated. We are excited to welcome her to Oklahoma City and hope for a very successful event. 
pictured: Mary Carol Garrity photo by: Kelly Beane Photography 

Mary Carol Garrity has been wildly successful in home decoration. Her centerpieces located on the luncheon tables will be for sell to guests with the profits benefiting our charities. The lantern centerpieces are a perfect article of nostalgia for our event, given that Flaming Festival began with selling candles. 
Photo from Mary Carol Garrity's book, "O Christmas Tree"

Mary Carol Garrity has authored a series of decorating books that make fantastic coffee table displays. Her book, “O Christmas Tree,” will add a nice touch to any Christmas arrangement or a great gift for the interior diva. It, also, will be available for purchase at Flaming Festival. 

A new coat of paint can transform a tired room. If you need a little color in your life, Mary Carol has unveiled a line of custom paint colors to warm any home. 
Nell Hill's - Kansas City, photo by: Kelly Beane Photography

My friend, photographer, Kelly Beane and I entertained ourselves for upward of five hours in Nell Hill’s - Kansas City alone. You can find items from all price points in a variety of sizes. The store offers many room settings to gain ideas, purchase individual pieces or invest in an entire display to replicate in your own home. Though the store is decorated in Mary Carol’s signature style you can find a look that suits almost any taste with the wide array of colors, patterns and trends of multiple genres. Garrity’s Encore - Atchison and Nell Hill’s Atchison are additional locations to shop Mary Carol’s treasures.
Nell Hill's - Kansas City, photo by: Kelly Beane Photography

I would like to leave you to browse some lovely shots by Kelly Beane Photography taken in the Nell Hill's - Kansas City, MO store.

A special thanks to Mary Carol Garrity and Kelly Beane.

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