Join me for a fun behind-the-scenes look at what went into planning our adoption fundraiser gala to the final day.
Adoption Fundraiser Gala
If you are joining us from What’s Up Wednesday with Sheaffer and Shay, then welcome! Today I am chatting all about #4. What We’ve Been Up To – coordinating, organizing, setting up, and planning for our adoption gala!
I am so excited to finally be able to share some behind the scenes!
I will let one of our best friends, Chris, introduce the event just as he did that night. You may learn a thing or two about Zach and me. Ha.
Where did my vision for the gala start? Why did I spend over a year and a half planning, interviewing, networking, and coordinating this event?
Watch the above video to hear my story and what adoption has already meant to me.
It is hard to believe it was over a year and a half ago when the kids and I first stepped into the Brownstone Manor to plan the adoption fundraiser gala (remember the days pre-COVID?).
This beautiful building was originally a church built over 100 years ago here in my hometown of Lititz, PA, and was later bought and restored by a local family when it fell into disrepair.
It is a private building reserved primarily for their own family’s use.
We were super-productive setting up until Roy [owner] came by and started serving us all drinks. Haha.
I have known the extended family for many years and was honored when they entrusted their beautiful manor to me for this event as they do not routinely open it to the public.
It made decorating this space all the more special.
Look at all the pretty wood detailing!
This was meant to be the heart of the evening.
Local families’ stories shared to help illuminate some of the mystery behind the beautiful yet challenging journey of adoption.
Carkel Media not only donated hours of video editing to create these documentaries, but they also filmed the event. The official video presentation is now on the Adoption Gala event page . If you are a local business or interested in getting promo video work, they do a lot of marketing videos for businesses!
I decided to do a hearty charcuterie board and chocolate fondue because these items could be prepped ahead of time and bought in bulk.
If you missed it be sure to check out 25 DIY Charcuterie Board Ideas for lots of charcuterie inspiration!
Want to try our family’s AMAZING chocolate fondue recipe? Find it HERE!
Ideally, I would have loved a heartier meal for an event like this, but in the absence of a caterer’s donation, this was a better option.
Thanks to my mom providing the chocolate fondue and a friend texting to say that he had covered the bill for all of the meat and cheese, I spenta total of $286.37 on food for the ENTIRE evening.
Can you believe that?! Such a blessing.
More pics and details to come on this setup.
Bless her heart my mom ironed every table cloth by hand. This is where a steamer sure would have come in handy!
You know it’s a long night when one has to resort to brown paper bags for a pillow and a blanket.
My kids were troopers helping us set up several nights in a row.
DIY Screen Stand
In true DIY fashion, we realized the projector screen would be too small hung on the wall, so the night before Zach threw a quick design together, and we DIY’d a stand.
It worked perfectly.
The Raffle Baskets
When I first started talking to local businesses about my vision for this evening I never in a million years would have anticipated this many donations.
Only 25% of our close friends and family guest list were able to attend (prime vacation and graduation season!), and I was concerned we would have more baskets than couples in attendance. Ha.
The ONLY barrier I faced planning this entire event was the timing of it. It was initially planned for September of 2020 but was postponed due to COIVD.
We didn’t have a lot of choice with the date and despite 75% of our guest list unable to attend, thanks to the generosity of friends, family, and local businesses we still raised $7,000 after event expenses.
Please check out the small businesses that supported this event HERE and consider honoring them with your business in the future.
Here we go!
Have you met Kate?
She has been one of my best friends since college [also happens to be my cousin] and is the owner and founder of FORTE Florals.
Her work has been featured all over the place, and if you click HERE you will see why.
She took my vision for the tables and brought it to life with all donated greenery.
One of my other besties is a virtual assistant, JenGregory VS [if you need virtual support check her out!] and she donated our beautiful program for the evening.
You can see the program HERE.
Zach’s sister Aubrey was my right-hand woman in it all.
I am thankful for all the work she put in – organizing volunteers, setting up, collecting raffle baskets, etc.
Tiffany at 139 Beauty Co was so sweet and offered to do my hair and makeup for the evening [if you need hair and makeup for an event check her out!].
She definitely had the hardest job of the night. Ha.
So grateful for family.
Speaking of family, a big thanks to our cousins who volunteered to serve food all night.
Thanks, Ty, Cam, and Jordan!
It is just so pretty.
And it’s go time!
I got my dress on clearance from Lulus almost 2 years ago, so it is not available anymore. I love Lulus. Their clothes are so cute and super affordable.
I have this adorable summer dress saved in my cart as we speak! I cannot stay on that site too long before I want to buy a new wardrobe.
Have you ever organized a fundraiser? What is your best advice if we would do this again to raise support for other adopting families [aside from not having it the first weekend of the summer, ha]??