Each year at Orange Coast Memorial, there is an annual Gala. While I have a pretty good background in planning and executing Galas, I started a new position with a mere 2.5 months to make this Gala happen. With invitations not even out, no save the date and no auction items, I jumped in head first with a huge weight on my shoulders. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to start at the same time as a wonderful women who was more than willing to jump in with me and assist with soliciting items and pretty much anything else I asked of her. We took on the logo created by our predecessors and ran with creating an invite and getting solicitation out for auction items. Proceeds from this event supported the acquisition of a Whole Breast Ultrasound Machine.
We were fortunate enough to get a good response for items and patrons to attend!
Our VIP guests enjoyed drinks and mingling on the terrace at the Balboa Bay Club and Resort in Newport Beach.
During the silent auction and cocktail hour, Georgiana Ireland painted and talked to guests about her painting that was going to be auctioned off in our Live auction later that night.
As our theme was Gala du Cirque, we hired some circus performers to entertain our guests as they browsed auction items and sipped on martinis!
Guests enjoyed looking at our auction items displayed around a courtyard at the Resort. One thing that I was adamant on changing from what had been done before, was changing the size of our table tents. We purchased 11 x 17 plexi-sign holders to make it easier for our guests to see our items creating more buzz and ultimately getting more bid on our items which means more money back to the foundation!
Guests truly enjoyed the atmosphere of the event from the circus performers to the auction items and martini bar. The performers added something that the regulars at this event have never experienced before and we were thrilled to see the response!
Bright centerpieces adorned the tables with guests bidder numbers pre-printed and placed at each table. Event programs were also placed on each chair so that guests did not have to worry about carrying them around during the cocktail reception (another change I implemented).
We wanted to get guests on their feet and involved from the start of the event so, with the help from our wonderful auctioneer we did something different (sense a theme?? CHANGE!). This was called the 100 Yard Dash, 4 boards with the numbers 1-100 were set up around the room and we asked guests to come up and donate any amount listed. Started off the night fun and made a quick $5,000 for our cause!
All in all it was a fabulous gala and our guests truly had a wonderful time. It was a good way to prove to myself that I can pull off a gala (with help from a wonderful team and volunteers!) in less than 3 months! Looking forward to 2014- an Evening in Hollywood!