Garden Party Success
I am not sure if it was the rain, all of mini-cupcakes, or the extra potent mint juleps, but I can't stop smiling when I think about the success of the Southern Style Garden party I co-hosted for Tour de Telling. It was definitely one of the most successful events, and I’d argue among the most fun events we’ve had in the past three years.
In case you have not heard of it, Tour de Telling is a FUNdraising competition among some of SpeakeasyDC’s volunteers, storytellers, friends, donors and hangers one. For the last three years, we have come together in teams to compete around support something we love - the unique and amazing community that is SpeakeasyDC.
This year, The Garden Party was one of my team’s signature events, as well a cooperative effort with a few other teams. Along with my teammates - (Katy Barret, John Tong, Karen St. Germain and Jeffrey Brady) my co-host Louise Dettman from the Story Cycle team, and logistical support from Killer Tales, we were able to organize a night that celebrated the BEST of SpeakeasyDC - compassion, community, connection, and of course humor. The garden that was meant to be our backdrop was like a beautiful green oasis in the middle of the city, and was an attraction in and of itself. With all of our careful planning about where to put the pastel napkins, and platters of glittery mini-cupcakes and decadent cookies, to the bar set up on the old porcelain farm sink, we forgot to make sure that it wasn’t going to rain! And rain it did! The skies opened about an hour after the party started, but fortunately we had a cozy and comfortable indoor space to retreat to, and with everyone’s help we were able to relocate the food and most of the alcohol when the skies opened up.
As we filled the inside space and guests re-oriented to where the treats and drinks were, the thing that stuck out to me the most was how cheerful everyone was. To be fair, the space was dry but it was crowded and humid and loud, and when I looked around - wondering if our party was going to be over before it started - all I saw were smiles. All I heard was laughter and stories and introductions being made between new friends. And I thought “Of course! These are SpeakeasyDC peeps!”
Together, we raised just over $1000 to put our team on track to help raise $10,000 for SpeakeasyDC spring campaign. We raised the funds from a combination of ticket sales and an Acts of Service Silent Auction, where people offered to do things for each other that built community connection in exchange for a donation to SpeakeasyDC. And now people all over the city are baking brownies for each other, walking each other dogs, and emailing each other jokes and words of inspiration. How cool is that?
The Tour de Telling campaign has two more weeks left, and I know that all of the teams (but especially MINE! ) would still benefit from your support. Funds raised through this annual campaign are used to help us continue to grow and build partnerships with community organizations to spread the art of storytelling to communities who can’t cover the costs. These funds also let us continue to develop and stage shows with community impact such as Unhinged: Stories about Living with Mental Illness continue to support community education programs local schools and community partners.
Basically, the funds raised through Tour de Telling just help SpeakeasyDC continue to be the kick-ass organization of storytellers and artists that spawns the kick-ass community of friends, mentors and neighbors that results in an indoor garden party in the middle of a flash flood, to be one of the best parties of the year.
We have two weeks left in the campaign. Hope you will join the race.