As with each year before, time seems to just slip by and I don't really notice...well not until a calendar reminder pops up telling me that the second deposit for the venue is due in a month! We start organising the ball in January. The first meeting is a mix of Thanks from the year before, a welcome to new members and a set of goals and ambitions about what we want to achieve this year. The goal (or should I say challenge) set this year was that I wanted us to raise £27,000 to bring our 3 year total to £65,000. It's a big ask, but last year we raised £21,555 so if we really believe we can do it and get some big auction prizes in, the sky is the limit!
How well we do each year relies on a few things:
1) The Venue: Without the support of the HAC we would struggle to put on an event like this. Last year they were helpful, professional and nothing was too much hassle for them. We work closely with them to try and deliver the best event for our guests possible
2) Our guests: Fundamentally, without the generous folk who come along and support the cause, we would have a lovely venue with no one in it! They dig deep in their pockets and support the raffle, the table game, the auction and this year; the silent auction. The whole event hinges on them and how much we raise is in their hands...or their pockets!
3) Those who donate: Foto Noir, auctioneer, Lili la Scala, speaker (Victoria Bateman this year), the band, the dj, the photographer...the list goes on. These guys bring the event together and make it special. They add the extra sparkle to the night and help cajole the guests in to spending their hard earned cash whilst making sure the have fun. These people either donate their time entirely or charge a teeny amount to cover travel etc. It's incredibly generous.
4) Prize givers: It's all very well selling tickets and having a raffle and auction, but if no one donates anything then it's all a bit pointless. We rely entirely on the generous spirit of people to help entice the guests to bid and buy prizes. This can make or break the fundraising 'success' of the night.
5) The committee: for 10 months these people give their time, their contacts, their sanity and their support to help The Poppy Rocks Ball be the event it has become. We're not professional event planners, we all have jobs, we all have other things going on in our lives, but we do it because we believe in the cause and what we are raising much needed funds for. Without these people, our guests wouldn't have fun and we probably wouldn't have an event at all! They also rope in helpers on the night who make the auction and raffle possible and who do all the running about so I can enjoy a glass of vino (post speech of course!)
Basically - it's a huge team effort and I'm really very grateful for everyone who is involved in these mad 10 months and on the night!
Check out some of the websites of those who have helped:
Please do get in touch if you'd like to know more about the night, want to donate anything or want to join the committee!