Archive | January, 2014

5 Logistics Lessons from a Bat Mitzvah

29 Jan



I’m a logistics luva, and like to use my knowledge to make the lives of my friends and family easier when I can.  For my friends and family that read my blog – the above statement is also an apology for hijacking your plans with “a suggestion.”

A few weeks ago, I managed an event virgin excursion… my daughters Bat Mitzvah. Planning this milestone event was supposed to be easy, since I have had other professional (read: paid) experience working all year-round for one day. I planted the little event-planning seeds several months in advance so that they all bloom on event day. Most of the planning was fairly straight-forward, and I could use my past experiences for vendor negotiation and management.  The giant planning wild card was dealing with my client, who happened to be my 12-year-old pubescent daughter with lots of opinions (read: demands) and no checking account. Good times.

Luckily, my husband was very understanding (read: Ativan) and patient (read: traveled more) with the perfect storm of the perimenopausal mother and hormonal daughter working together (read: screaming shitshow).  My poor son spent the last six months in his room studying (read: playing Minecraft) to avoid the mother-daughter “collaboration.”

We all survived and are once again enjoying family dinners together.  I did learn a few things about the process, and thought my readers would appreciate the logistics lessons I learned with hopes they can help you on your walkathon.

Lesson #1

Service meal = mobile number

If I need to pay for a service meal for you….Then I get to have your mobile number. This allows me to confirm confirm confirm with you and let you know when we are on the way.  My DJ, Caterer, Site-Manager and Photographer may be sorry to have given me their digits, but they ate really well!

Lesson #2

Confirm Confirm Confirm

See #1 above.  I contacted my vendors several times the week, and day-of the event. Since the timing of this event was a 4-hour window,  I needed to make sure everyone had directions, contact information and had all questions answered before we arrived. They probably thought I was a gigantic hemorrhoid that would not go away, but I did not care. I was the customer and my name spelled backwards is ANAL. So there ya go.

Lesson #3

Don’t mess with Mother Nature

I say this because I live in New England, and things are always changing. When I signed the contract with the site a year in advance of my January event, I had them write-in a clause about snow removal. They said it would be taken care of, but I did not want to take chances. And I did not want to be shoveling in sequins and heels before the party. The forecast for the day was rain, but Mutha Nature gave us snow. This was perfect since the theme was snowflakes! The site had the shovels and salt out before my guests arrived.

Lesson #4

Seating cards suck

Like name tags, I am not a fan. Someone’s name is always misspelled or the tag is forgotten.  Seating cards were a must for this event.  Pfffftht. I thought I was ahead of the game by confirming the attendees a month ahead of time and churning these seating cards out.  I had to re-run these cards twice during the week before the event due to “changes in plans.”  In addition to the re-run, I had to re-glue the snowflakes on each seating card. @#$%!!!!!   The lesson learned is to NOT do these too far ahead of time.

Lesson #5

Thank the donors

I had the crack the whip on my beauty to write her thank-you notes ASAP.  She received some very generous monetary gifts and the guests (donors) needed to be thanked, quickly. Being a student of etiquette expert Letitia Baldridge (stop snickering), I wanted to make sure that the appropriate thank-you note window was being observed.  My daughter reminded me that we have not yet received thank-you notes from Bat Mitzvahs attended in November, but Momma don’t care!

Overall, the event went smooth and my daughter was happy and our guests had fun.  I’m glad to have three years until my son’s Bar Mitzvah!


Pink in the News

9 Jan



Pink is in the news.

No, not the dynamic performer with the amazing estro-abs (who I did happen to see in concert last month) – but some pink events that raise money for the fight against breast cancer.

Today, I read an article in the NPQ about how the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation had a 22% drop in income last fiscal year. They made $77 million less than the previous year.  Yeowza! Due to this decrease, they had to cut $50 million from breast cancer research and public health education.  That is a huge bummer. Why did they lose so much money? Several reasons, including some bad funding decisions regarding Planned Parenthood and the revelation of the Chief Executive’s big-honkin’ compensation. I wrote all about it here a few months ago.  

Many Komen constituents got angry and stopped participating in fundraising events and stopped making charitable contributions to the organization.  Who really got hurt here?  For starters, the breast cancer researchers who depend on organizations like Komen to fund the research that will hopefully find a cure for this disease.  Second, the men and women who are not getting educated about the need for early detection. Without a cure, early detection is the best prevention.  So there ya go.

Other pink news, locally, for me is the publicity machine that has started for the Boston Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.  For the low-low price of $1850 ($50 registration plus $1800 minimum fundraising requirement) you can participate in this weekend-long walk. So what is an Avon Walk?  Their website says what they are, and are-not:

“The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is a national series of 39-mile weekend fundraising events launched in 2003 by the Avon Foundation.

The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer event series is a project of the Avon Foundation for Women and is not affiliated with any other breast cancer organizations or programs such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure, American Cancer Society, or Breast Cancer Research Foundation.”

I wondered where the money goes that is raised by the Avon Foundation and found this:

“Avon Foundation brings this mission to life through two key areas: breast cancer and domestic violence. The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade launched in 1992, and Avon breast cancer programs in more than 55 countries support advancing access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer, with a focus on the medically underserved and uninsured. Funding is awarded to beneficiaries ranging from leading cancer centers to community-based breast health programs for awareness and education; screening and diagnosis; access to treatment; support services; and scientific research.”

For more info – check it out here.


Let’s hope that there is not any controversy with the Avon Foundation so that more money can go toward the programs and services that were cut by Komen.

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