Written by Julie Sage
Year after year, we come together in October and do what some people would say was the impossible. The guests have no idea what is going on “behind the scenes”. And yet, it dazzles and entertains 400 attendees and guarantees a sold out event each fall. Our Assistance League® of Greater Placer Fall Tea and Fashions on a Budget fundraiser is a proven success.
Our goal is to raise the most monies possible to fund our philanthropic programs that serve children, adults, and families in the Greater Placer communities. Our members join together as captains and crews and volunteer their time and talents in selling tickets, greeting the guests, setting tables, designing programs, creating favors, raffle baskets and menu Items, serving food, modeling, and pouring Hot Water for Tea, Tea, Tea.
Not everything can be planned out. Sometimes there are glitches along the way and our members pull together and smile the whole way through.
As captain of the Hot Water crew, we rented 8 extra 90 cup coffee pots to overcome a previous years’ concern when extra water had to be boiled on the stove. Yikes. Our guests do love their tea. So imagine my surprise when we blew all the circuits in the building. While waiting for the off-site maintenance man, I assured the worried table servers, “We said we’d have Tea, we didn’t promise it would be hot.” I grinned. My mind was racing about sending someone to a store to get ice and cold brew tea. The maintenance man finally arrived and reset the breakers. We got rolling carts and put the coffeepots all over the building on different circuits. Whew! The guests were able to enjoy their hot tea, none the wiser although they did comment on why there was a coffee pot outside the bathroom door.
Our members model fashionable clothing and jewelry from our Assistance League Thrift Shop, for sale to our Tea Party guests. The fashion show has culminated with a rousing finale. Model, Bobbi, shares this story. “The models had fun practicing a chorus line for the finale. Several models were uncomfortable with the “steps” they were to do to the music that Nancy, their trusty leader, would play. So it was decided everyone would do fine if Nancy was in front and we would let her lead us….BUT she goofed and did the wrong steps, which threw the whole group off. The guests loved it and thought we messed up on purpose. While the audience roared with laughter, we got a good laugh, too.”
Maneuvering through a room with decorated tables and hundreds of seated guests can be challenging. Table Server, Trudi, had happily delivered all the first and second-course menu items with finesse. Now she had the dessert tray in hand approaching her assigned table. A quick bump of her arm and gooey chocolate goodies were sliding off the tray and down the back of one of the guests. Amid Trudi’s profuse “I’m sorry” apologies, the guest turned around and luckily it was an Assistance League member, smiling back at her. Lauren was surprised to be drenched in chocolate but happy it wasn’t a guest that got chocolate bombed. Both members quickly recovered, and worked together to clean the table, tray, and Lauren. New desserts were passed around and everyone smiled.
2 thoughts on “6 Years of Practice Makes Perfect?”
Enjoyed this blog very much and forwarded it to my chapter. Our annual fundraiser for many years, beginning when we were a guild, was Tea ‘n’ Talk. We did the many things that your chapter does including making the tea sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, sweets and Tea–lots of it. At first we had dozens of borrowed tea pots going on a commercial stove top plus a few 40 cup coffee pots. We enjoyed that fundraiser very much but had to give it up when we could no longer find a location with a kitchen and an area large enough to hold our guests. Now we have a luncheon and entertainment, etc.
We had three members attend Assistance League’s 1991 Convention (yes, convention back then) in Atlanta and heard a member of your chapter talk about your Assault Survivor Kits. We were so impressed that when we were back home we selected a similar program for our chapter naming it Rape Victims Assistance Kits. Although other chapters use your program’s name we continue to use ours.
Thank you for sharing that so many years ago.
Myra Fisher Assistance League of San Fernando Valley
Thank you for your kind words, Myra.