For the uneducated in fundraising or those who just think it all happens magically, let’s start with some rethinking. Negotiations and planning that would astound the White House West Wing take place for months.. It’s especially daunting for a new venture. That is, unless you have the area’s top fundraising experts involved. Say for instance, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Heather and Bill Esping and Muffin and John Lemak. They’re old pros at the nuances of pulling together memorable fundraising events that end up being the hit of the season. Why, just this month Claire is chairing the Crystal Charity Fashion Show and Heather is co-chairing the TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction.
So, when the gals and their husbands decided to band together for a new event for The Family Place, they just emailed a couple of dozen of their buds and “Voilà!”—they had their host committee.
But it was more than their just asking. The incentive was the cause. In addition to The Family Place’s celebrating its 35th anniversary, it was Mayor Mike Rawlings‘ rally against domestic abuse that added to the importance of uniting for a nighttime dinner to raise funds.
Hey, reuniting those who have supported The Family Place in the past on one night! What an idea! Why not call it “ReuNight”? And the timing of the event was Tuesday, November 14, just as people were thinking of reuniting with family and friends for the holidays.
But they knew they needed more than a title. So, they gathered partners to unite for the dinner. In addition to Bank of America and Merrill Lynch as the presenting sponsor, the gals arranged to have the Place at Perry chefs provide the courses at the restaurant on Thursday, November 14.
With all the plans in place, the ladies held a letter signing at Claire’s on Tuesday, August 20. What’s that? Ah, come on. You know you’ve received a letter or two dozen from committee members hand-signed with messages hoping that you’ll attend. Those signatures and personal messages aren’t produced by machines.
But when Claire is organizing the letter signing, it becomes a party in itself with all types of foods and adult beverages served amid stacks of letters at the Emanuelson dinner table. In this case, Lynn McBee in
workout attire popped in between appointments and got right down to work signing a batch of the letters next to Lisa Sabin. . . Piper Wyatt, who was preparing for the invasion of LSU fans for the LSU-TCU game, was signing non-stop. . . Looking rested from a stay in Keystone, Matthew Simon took off his jacket and immediately got to work after getting a hug from The Family Place’s Paige Flink. . . Bank of America’s Gillian Breidenbach and Merrill Lynch’s Troy Schiermeyer dropped by to check in with the group.
Perhaps next time Claire should sell tickets to attend the letter-signing party.