Have a Ball

25Aug09

Quick story: When I was a little girl, I was SUCH a tomboy. My hair was always a mess - I didn't care. Running around with the boys was the norm; I didn't have very many girl friends. And there was very little that would have been a sufficient enough bribe to get me into a dress or a skirt. I'd have died before you caught me carrying a purse until I was well into college. I was never one of those little girls who played dress up with mommy's pearls and makeup. Honestly, in a way I feel like I missed out on those things and still don't fully understand them when I see them now, ya know?
Anyway, I say all of this because I love love LOVED that I got to get a little dressy last weekend! I volunteered at the American Cancer Society's Swordsman's Ball at the Cobb Galleria. Huge fundraiser in a big ol ballroom. Corporate sponsors with corporate sponsor tables with fancy hand-crafted sculptures with each sponsor's name. This was what I liked to call a Baller's Ball. I remember reading in the literature about this thing that the ACS's goal was to raise $150k at this thing last year. No idea what this year's goal was, but it was easily the biggest fundraiser occasion I've ever been to. A black-tie optional event, everybody was dressed for this event! Everything from just really nice cocktail dresses and curls to actual gowns and up-dos. I wasn't there for all of the early activities, which included a reception, live auction and dinner service, but there was a massive dessert display and a dance floor with a live band later in the night. I'd been recruited because they needed a few extra hands on deck to help with the silent auction. This auction was ri-dic-ul-ous. On the block was everything from bundled gift certificates and services (think: admission to a ghost tour and a gift card for dinner on Marietta Square) to football tickets/ticket packages to Beatles memorabilia to a full trip to the Hamptons! After I sat in my car for 15 minutes wondering if I was underdressed for this occasion got to the Ball, I had a chance to wander around the ballroom for a little while just taking it all in. Every little detail had been thought out, which made the whole thing even that much more magical. I couldn't help but notice some of the prices on the silent auction. The Beatles stuff was already at $600...and that was an hour and some change before the end of the auction. While most of the bids were between $50-$250 for a lot of the smaller items, there were some things that went in the $X,XXX range. WOW! Ultimately, some of the stuff went for cheap compared to the fair market value, but some of those people were ballin out of control. I did notice a couple of corporate cards passing through my hands while I was dealing with people at the check-out at the end of the auction. I wonder what they're going to do with some of the things they won? The ACS committee hadn't totaled up what they made last night, but I'd imagine that they did pretty well. There really wasn't much that didn't sell. I have to tell you though, it was such a learning experience for me and I'm so fascinated by how in the world you put on a fundraiser like that. There were a lot of old people there though, so I also wondered how you could be just as successful but gear it towards a slightly less AARP, more TMZ type of crowd. By the end of the night, I'm sure these women were so sick of me peppering them with questions about how this event came together and how the auction items came about. But all-in-all, my most fancy, dressed-up volunteering experience was definitely a fun time. I clearly need more events/excuses to get fancied up.

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One Response to “Have a Ball”

  1. 1 Willie Collins

    We need more people like you. Especially young people. It is a very big task to get to voluntary to do anything. People in our community (African American)are a special challege. With lots of prayer and hard work I believe those of us who are willing can convence
    other to join us in a effort to help others.
    I remember when you where a little girl. And yes you where a tomboy and could fight pretty good too. But you where always a girly little girl. Though it was difficult to get you in a dress you did wear one for me a few times. You have grown into a beautiful and intelligent woman.
    God bless you and keep up the good work.


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