Thursday, July 26, 2012

Party with a purpose

Our party, long in the planning, long in the implementation, long in the pocket book is now over. To be totally honest, I was disappointed in the number of people who didn't come. I am disappointed that some said they would be coming and then they didn't. I am disappointed in some who seemed somewhat tired of me talking about it. I want to be all positive here saying everything was perfect (and in so many ways it was), but all that perfection wasn't perfect without people to take it in, understand the purpose of the party, donate, laugh, eat, donate and drink, donate and dance or just plain be there.

People said they liked the format, thought it looked fantastic, enjoyed the food and were glad they came. I hope what is not lost in something like this is the reason why we worked so hard, the reason for the party.

Since becoming involved in the Susan G Komen 3 day, I have discovered so many things. I have had incredible ups when I hear of yet another woman with Breast Cancer who is alive today because of a Komen Grant, and I cry when I hear that another has earned her angel wings. I have been thanked for my efforts by people within the organization and from on the streets of the walk. I have also been thanked many times by people who have someone they know (or even themselves) who have battled Cancer.

The thanks I receive is all well and good, heart warming and rewarding, but it is also a challenge to keep it up. Keep up the fight and strive to do even more. Because when you know personally the people who depend on the resources Komen provides, you feel personally responsible to do what you can. When you know personally what it feels like to get a call saying you have Breast Cancer, there is little in you that thinks you would be able to handle a call from one of your daughters saying they have been diagnosed.

There's no doubt I love to throw a party and have fun, but never think that is why I and my team have thrown such a labor intensive party each year. It has been a labor or love and purpose.

I have spent the last couple of days here in the Russian River trying to relax, but I have also been debriefing this last part where our numbers were down on receipts about 40% and in attendance by 30%. What could I have done better. Was it worth the effort? How can we improve? Because the purpose of the party is too important, to turn our backs on something that had brought in over $30,000 in the past 3 years. (This year only $6000) How can I do what we have done smarter, with less personal cost to the team in their time and money, and bring in significant money to help end Breast Cancer.

Part of what has worked in the past is the donations made to the auction increase the awareness of our purpose. It has allowed businesses and individuals a way to participate and show their support. Each email or letter, each time someone is asked if they might have something they would like to contribute brings another opportunity to remind people that finding a cure to Breast Cancer is still as important as it ever was.

At Hall Winery who donated to our auction this year, I was reminded of this when the woman I spoke with let me know she had been diagnosed last year. I was reminded at Toad Hollow last year when I was visiting the tasting room manager Jim (who lost his wife to Breast Cancer), when I started talking to a woman at the end of the bar whose mother was in the late stages of her battle with Breast Cancer. The woman was Care Edwards, her mother was Elizabeth Edwards. I was reminded this year when Richard from our office offered to run the AV equipment for our party because his sister just started her treatment for Breast Cancer.

The need is still there. The purpose of the party is still just as important.

Maybe it was a Sunday that did it. Maybe it was a movie versus a band. Maybe it is the feeling that there is too much pink... I really don't know.

What I do know is it was a wonderful event and I am so glad for the people who came. I also know, I am not stopping here - this is too important. In the meantime.... lets take a look at some of the pictures of our Pinktini and Popcorn this past Sunday at the Mill Valley Golf Clubhouse.

All the food, including the cakes, was made by the team....



Happy people....

Pinkest family

Apron by Cathy - smile by Patti the Pinktini maker

Family and friends






Support from afar!





Movie and popcorn















And so now it is all about the training. Tomorrow (or really later this am) we head out on a long walk approx 19 miles, knowing if it gets to be too much we have our support team to pick us up. That is a great thing to know when you are putting out such a huge effort. Knowing you have someone in your corner is one of the best feelings in the world. Thank you to everyone who participated in our party (online, by being there or donating items). Your support means more than I can say.

If you missed the event, but still want to contribute, give me ideas for next year or donate to this year's walk online at www.the3day.org/goto/donatetocathy .