Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An Evening of Wishes

I'm not sure where to begin with this. I've started this post 10 times already. If I had actually pulled my own camera out I could just show you all the pictures from the night, but as it is I was so nervous I didn't even have my own camera! All of us who love Make-A-Wish so dearly, and love meeting wish kids all the time, decided it was time for a MAJOR fundraiser. We have smaller ones in Columbus here and there periodically, but we wanted something fun and different! Cue...An Evening of Wishes.... We have planned and planned, and begged and pleaded, and cried and sweat and probably even bled a little....to make this thing come together. It has taken an army of volunteers, one helluva of Board, and an amazing community I'm proud to know supports us and wants to help grant more wishes!! (Because let's face it, putting a nice evening together, with NO budget ain't easy people!) First off I should mention the venue....Columbus Botanical Garden.... A 100 year old farmhouse, with a beautiful garden backdrop, the perfect place for an indoor/outdoor par-tay. Especially when mother nature declares it still be summertime in November. That is, up until MY PARTY DAY. And temps drop 20 degrees in a week. And Jeff calls every rental place in town for the last tent and heaters around (because Callaway Gardens is also hosting Steeplechase this same weekend, and every chair, tent, table, and fork practically is at Callaway to watch horses run in a circle!) But we got that tent! And those heaters, and my dear ANGEL of a friend Brandi who sniffed and coughed and sucked on cough drops all day, helped me string twinkly lights all over that thing to make is sparkle. By the time the sun was set and lights were on, there was no doubt wishes were coming true that night under all those stars! This is Brandi, who I owe a GRANDE margarita to still for all her help, her hubby Capp, who I think had fun with his $10 bottomless cup that night!! :), and Jeff, words cannot express all you did to make this come together, to keep me together through this. Thank you, love you, oh, and most importantly, thanks for holding me steady on that ladder....on top of that table....as I hung those lights.... Gosh, you're cute. xoxo Our guest speakers for the Evening of Wishes were Lauren and Jake....WISH KIDS themselves! Who better to tell us about how impactful Make-A-Wish can be?! Jake made us laugh, Lauren made us cry....they both have my hearts. I must mention when it came to who was speaking first (who cares apparently what I print in a program!)....these clowns decided to rock-paper-scissors it out to decide! After a rediciously good dinner from Burt's Butcher Shop (thanks Burt!!) of steaks made to order, man please!, our guests hit up the silent auction set up inside. I've participated in my share of auctions, but never ran one. With lots of advice, we put it together, and suprisingly pulled that thing off! We had trips to the beach, oil portraits, Disney on Ice tickets, a date night (with dinner out, play tickets, wine, and a limo ride!), jewelry, and more! And yes, Dad...you're brilliant. Definitely the biggest ticket item of the night was our "Barrel of WISH Spirits!!" This little ol' wheelbarrow full of an assortment of liquor and wine had the guys hovering til the whistle was blown. I WON'T MENTION which guy ended up with this item, ahem, ahem.... (all for charity, Jenn, all for charity....) Remember my post about the Paint your Wish Day! All the paintings from that event were auctioned off, every one of them!! Some for $200! Lots of people hung out around the heaters outside and listened to the band (who unfortunately lost their electronics when the timer to the outdoor sprinklers went off and fried it!!!). This gal singing has just signed a record deal in Nashville....big things are going to happen for this 16-year-old soon, she was amazing! Listen out for Rachel Farley! We sold $10 bottomless cups, which were a huge hit, and served as their "drink ticket" for the whole evening, as well as raffle ticket too....prior to buying the cups, we'd written numbers on the bottom of all of them, so as raffle numbers were drawn they just checked their cup! It was a great way to kill two birds with one stone, and everyone left with an awesome insulated cup designed especially for the evening! Here are my fabulous volunteers from Best Buy selling our cups at the door! There are so many people to thank, like my "Best Buy Bouncers" as I called them, and the TGIFridays bartenders who came and bartended for free, and Don Jones for donating all the alcohol (cause that always makes writing checks easier!), Nosegay Florist for our AMAZING table arrangements, and Betsy and Jeff for ALL that yall did, and Terri and Bill Floyd (Terri, you are a lifesaver, truly), and ....well, I could list every sponsor and in-kind donor there was, but we'd be here all day! But believe me, I'd impress the socks off of ya! So I'll just give you pics of who one cutest couple awards instead....tehehehe. I want to tell you every little detail, but the bottom line is WE PULLED IT OFF! We had a great turn out, despite cold temps, and other events going on, and raised so much money for a great cause!! Oh wait, you want to know how much? At our very first Evening of Wishes?? Ok, fine, twist my arm, I'll tell you....though the checks, amazingly, are still coming in...it appears we have raised...... $14,000!!! That's a lot of wishes come true!!!


  1. JENNIFER - I am not sure why you called me the week of worried and stressed about some of the details because everything LOOKED GREAT!! I know everyone was SOOO impressed with your organization of the event! You made lots of money which in turn makes LOT OF CHILDREN SMILE!!!

  2. Congrats Jenn! Everything looked AMAZING! I am so proud of you and can't thank you enough for bringing so many smiles to childrens' faces!