Having a Ball, 2011

OK, I’m finally getting around to blogging.  Whoever decided to volunteer for a large fund-raising event that took place the week before his (procrastinated) taxes were due wasn’t planning well.

The fund-raising ball went very well.  It was a 1940’s theme, focusing on how a medical supply donation group might have worked during WWII.  When designing the 35 centerpieces, K did a lot of research into what flowers were popular (and available during the war).  This is what she designed:

Red and white roses in a Ball mason jar, sitting in a silver-rimmed bowl of water with floating rose candles. The pictures around the base were of members of this organization that I made look like sepia pictures.

The rest of the decorations were telling the story of how a typical family might be getting ready to donate items to this charity during the war.  As a part of this story, the charity was hosting a showing of Casablanca free of charge to anybody who donated medical supplies during a donation drive.  Outside the main banquet hall, we created several vignettes of how people were getting ready for this donation drive.

The Living Room, complete with old radio playing 1940s radio shows (thanks to my hidden speakers and iPod), set up with old newspapers, magazines and kid activities. And note the old Coke bottle on the far left table. More on that later.

The Dressing Table, including cosmetics, flowers, and invitation to the fundraiser, and a picture and letter from a son away fighting in Europe.

The Study, with old typewriter, books, and a fake telegram talking about the fundraiser. There's even a donation list typed out on the typewriter.

Since the idea was that people were donating medical supplies in order to see a movie, we set up a movie theater inside the ballroom where dinner was served.

The Theater, showing Casablanca, complete with screen, boxes of donations, and prop theater seats I made. The projector was a working 1940s vintage projector, but it was not actually showing the movie. That was done with a modern projector and DVD player hidden underneath. Of course I digitally aged the film to make it look as if it was being played on a projector. I am a little crazy for details like that.

The only difficulty we had during the evening was due to a very efficient wait staff at the hotel.  As I mentioned above, I used a vintage Coke bottle as a part of the Living Room set:

Vintage Coke bottle in the center. Less-than-vintage Coke bottles on the left.

You might notice the beverage station set up to the left of the Living Room in the picture above.  This cart was added at the last-minute, and without our approval.  Well, about 30 minutes into the event, I noticed that the vintage Coke bottle was missing.  Sure enough, the hotel wait staff had bussed our prop table, taking the vintage (and therefore somewhat pricey) Coke bottle into the back to be recycled.  Luckily K was able to track down the manager who retrieved to bottle from certain doom.

Other than that, everything went as well as could be expected.  Once everything was set up, we actually had several hours to relax and enjoy the evening.

We clean up OK.

My Dad, sitting at The Study, using the vintage typewriter. In real life, it just happened to be the typewriter his father used as part of his job.

We even got a little acknowledgment during dinner. And K got a special shout-out all by herself from the emcee of the evening.

OK, now that’s over, we can start planning for next year.

You think I’m kidding?

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2 Comments on “Having a Ball, 2011”

  1. quotation marks Says:

    hmmmmm. 1st to comment. This was a tremendous effort on both of your parts. I could go on and on… I’m so glad that there are people, like you two, who have creative and mechanical abilities….unlike me. Thanks for using Dad’s typewriter.

  2. miss V. Says:

    Just awesome !!! Flowers, decorations,but mostly the two people who gave so freely of your time and talents!! Congratulations..

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