“It’s the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time.” – Tallulah Bankhead
I am not much of a cook. In fact, I wanted to turn my kitchen into an extra bedroom until someone reminded me that I needed a refrigerator for martinis. So, why I was in charge of making the Cherries Jubilee for Bad Girls’ Badminton is still a mystery. And why I didn’t go look up a recipe is....well....probably because I was more interested in creating my Lisa Novak* costume. I knew, of course, that I needed cherries and alcohol. What could be easier?
So, on the evening of the party, I threw a couple cans of cherries and a bottle of rum in a pan and lit it. It burned…and it burned….and it burned….and it burned. Everyone was smiling and waiting….and waiting. Someone commented on what a great fire it was and suggested we roast marshmallows. But I didn’t HAVE any marshmallows. So we smothered the flames with a lid and served the blackened cherries with ice cream and LOTS of warm rum still left in the pan.
So what IS a Bad Girls’ Badminton party? It is a fabulous girlfriend get-together that encourages the release of one’s inner Bad Girl - you know the one - she’s in there somewhere. We dress up as various Bad Girls and spend an evening whacking cocks….I mean, shuttlecocks. OK, OK, you can call them birdies.
But an important rule in our version of badminton is whenever someone misses hitting the shuttlecock (and this will happen frequently) she has to curse with an original curse word – no using anything that anyone has heard before. Each new curse word is then written down by the 'Curse Word Keeper'. When the matches are over, the 'Curse Word Keeper' selects her top 10 favourite curse words and the group votes to determine the #1 winning curse. Some of our winners have been “douche fart” and “syphilis stick.” Would love to hear yours!
*Lisa Novak, as you may remember, was the astronaut that drove from Houston to Orlando to confront her rival. She wore a diaper so she would not have to stop on the way. She was charged with attempted vehicle burglary, battery, and destruction of evidence.
Tonia Caselman has been entertaining and amusing others since her door-to-door tricycle years seeking volunteers for a backyard circus. Devoted to making others smile, giggle, laugh, or roll their eyes in tolerant amusement, she believes in the resiliency of humour. Tonia holds a master's degree in Social Work and a doctorate in Child Development. She teaches at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa, maintains a private practice, and has authored several books and games for children. Oh, yea, and she parties a lot. Come visit her hilarious blog Estrofests.blogspot.com"
Planning a fundraiser may seem daunting, but as long as you follow a few key steps, organizing a successful event can be relatively stress free.
Start with a cause that moves you. If you feel passionate about it, everything will fall into place.
Don’t re-invent the wheel. Ask questions and utilize plans and systems others have found to be effective in the past.
Consider cost, space, atmosphere and location when selecting a venue. We held our recent Elmo Family FUNdraiser at Taima Zone Indoor Play Centre. It fit the bill in every way possible. Large space, bright, and centrally located. Our event celebrated children and this was the best place to do just that. My kids spent the entire night joyfully climbing, sliding, playing, laughing and being kids. Thank you Taima Zone for generously donating this gorgeous space. I will be back soon with children in tow and coffee in hand.
Ask for help, delegate and work as a team. I struck gold with my party planning partner Angela. This Party Momma knows her stuff and helped turn a simple idea into an amazing event. PS Please give Adrian a thank you "tickle" for me. ;)
Make a detailed task list. Assign volunteers specific jobs for event day i.e. ticket takers, raffle ticket sellers, people to work the food table, etc. Thank you Heather, Lisa and Diane, Laura, Sarah, Deb, Deb and Kathryn for making our Elmo Family FUNdraiser run smoothly. We could NOT have done it without you. And Anita and Jen, your photos are amazing. Thanks for capturing and preserving this day so beautifully.
On event day, set up as early as possible. However long you think this will take, add another hour or two. You do NOT want to be scrambling to set up raffle items as guests arrive. Ahem, NOT that I would know anything about that... *hangs head in shame.*
Here are some simple ways to promote your event:
Create a Facebook or blog page
Ask the venue and vendors to add a link to your event page on their website
Tweet out the link and details
Word of mouth
Email the info to friends and ask them to pass it along
Eventbrite.com is a great way to keep track of numbers, share details about your event and it’s easy to use. Guests can pay for tickets via Paypal or if your event is free, they can simply reserve their tickets at no cost.
Solicit food/drink/snack donations to sell at your event.
Thanks to the following wonderful companies for making our event a delicious success!
Panagao Oakville Pizza
Also invite vendors to sell their goods at your event. Make sure products fit the theme of the event. Ask vendors to donate a portion of their sales to the cause.
Organize a raffle and/or silent auction. Tell people about the cause and ask them to consider donating an item to include in the fundraiser.
* Be sure to thank donators for their generosity. I would personally like to acknowledge and thank with all my heart...
Angela, Party At Your Place
A Slice Above
Dee Brun, the Cocktail Deeva
Deb Lowther, IronKids
Edyta Drwiega and Aggie Kwiatkowski, Arbonne
Kathy and Kim Originals
Laura and Moe Berg
Lindsay, Glow Baby
Mike and Laurie Hunter, Signature Authentics
Shelli Brar, Entripy
Today I Ate A Rainbow
And a huge thank you to Maureen Dennis from WeeWelcome.ca for the amazing gift of an Elmo DVD for each party guest, as well as the entire DVD collection for Zack's Dream Room at York Central Hospital.
THANK YOU so much to these kind hearted people for making this fundraiser so successful.
Finally, remember to keep the FUN in FUNdraiser. Things may not go exactly according to plan, but that's ok and it's unlikely anyone will notice anyway. They will be too busy shopping, eating, making friends, having fun and making memories.
*The amazing people who donated their time or items for our raffle and silent auction didn't do so for recognition. They happily gave from their hearts because they wanted to help. xo"
Going to the movies with the girls is always a great night out. But, to really amp up the fun, choose your next film with a costume in mind. For example, wearing Bridesmaids dresses to see the movie "Bridesmaids" turns an ordinary night at the cinema into an extraordinary GNO. It's a simple, inexpensive and fun way to have a memorable night with your girlfriends.
Troll the Goodwill for the ugliest dress you can find.
Sweep your hair into a fancy updo (all I could manage was a ponytail).
Meet your bridal party at a restaurant for a pre-show cocktail and a few photo ops.
Line up and enter the movie theatre in single file and stay that way the entire way down the (movie) aisle.
At the end of the show, designate a friend to stand up and throw a plastic bouquet into the audience.
Sleep with a groomsman (optional)
Guess which movie we're going to see next? Thor! Does anyone have a loin cloth I can borrow?"