Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ideas That Work

idea icon A different kind of tea party

With talk of tea parties in the news, let's take a look at the great success Milwaukee volunteers have had with their annual tea luncheon fundraiser. This year marked the sixth year for the event, with almost 200 ladies attending.

Milwaukee Learning Center board member Marcia Christensen said that Carol Dadaian, the wife of a Milwaukee Valley member, came up with the original idea. Since then, the idea has been passed along to the Valley of Indianapolis, where volunteers have also seen great success.

Planning began with a core committee of 6 members who were responsible for overseeing the different aspects of the event, including the dining room setup, kitchen area, fashion show and raffle. A hostess was assigned to each table and was responsible for inviting 7 ladies to fill her table. Each hostess decorated her own table with her own theme.

A highlight for attendees was the Milwaukee Valley members, dressed in tuxedos and white gloves, serving the ladies throughout the event.

"The ladies think it's so special to have the gentlemen serving them," Marcia said.

After the meal, a student and mother gave a short account of the good work the Center is doing. "It's important to the ladies there because then they know what they're there for," Marcia said.

After the Center presentation, guests enjoyed a fashion show put on by a local shop. The tea party averages between 200 and 250 attendants, and $10 of every ticket is donated to the Milwaukee Learning Center.

Volunteers have made changes over the years to help things run more smoothly. This year ladies wrote their names and table number on the back of their tickets. Instead of taking the time to announce the winners, the men drew names and delivered the prizes throughout the event.

One thing that hasn't changed is the cost for raffle tickets: volunteers still sold 12 tickets for $10 and 25 tickets for $20. "Keeping the ticket prices down on the raffle tickets themselves has really made a difference," Marcia said. "Other raffles we've been to have raised the price of tickets and haven't sold as many."

This year's event raised $5,000 for the Milwaukee Learning Center.

"I don't think there's any better reason to get together and do a fundraiser than the Learning Center," Marcia said. "We are providing children with the tools they need to have a successful life. It really touches me to think we can help them."


Bangor Center said...

Cornerstone is hardly unusual. I just checked the web and found 54 businesses/institutions in Maine (a small state) with the name 'Cornerstone.' Five of these were religious organizations. I think that the name is a bit overused and would not make us distinctive.

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