Recently I helped organize a fundraiser to benefit the The Larchmont Mamaroneck Hunger Task Force. I always wanted to do something for this wonderful organization but could not commit to the bi-weekly Tuesday night packing and distributing of food at the Food Pantry in Mamaroneck. I admit I felt guilty. Many of my friends and their families have participated for years. I think it is the directness of the cause- they simply give out bags of groceries to our local neighbors who need it- that attracted me to the cause. I had done fundraisers on a smaller scale for breast cancer and ovarian cancer and attend many shows as a vendor, so I knew what had to be done. I promoted relentlessly because I have wasted many days selling at shows that were not promoted and felt the frustration of the vendors. I did not want to feel the rage of the vendors! It was up to us to do the best possible job without a budget to speak of.
I saw a chance to do my part after feeling inspired by a short speech given last year by Melinda Lehman, the head of the Food Pantry at Plates in Larchmont. Melinda was so lovely, eloquent and gracious that I was moved to get out of my comfort zone to do something. I promised I would organize a local holiday shopping boutique for her and with her help, did so. The talented Lia Strasser did a beautifully poignant and effective holiday poster that we plastered on every doorway in near by towns and Facebook. A local printer, who wishes to remain nameless, printed 400 posters for us and I think this advertising was responsible for starting the buzz around town. I attribute a major part of the successful event to these two people and Ann LoBue, to her PR efforts.
The success of the event was felt by the organization and vendors alike. In addition to vendors making money and contributing a table fee AND a percentage to the Hunger Task Force, we received many generous donations at the door and sold raffle tickets for gifts donated by Get out and Clay, Bradley’s, Encore, Chat 19, Anderson’s, Books Larchmont Florists, Chit Chat Wine , Durian, Vintage, Paint your art out, Dagostionos Mens Shop and so many more! The owner of Tres Magnifique Jewerly was moved to donate a 100.00 gift certificate at the event. The boutique was busy – very busy and we thank all involved for donating gifts, time and money for such a worthy cause. A special thanks to Stephen Bartell for being our master of ceremony and drawing raffles every half hour to keep the excitement level high.
The purpose of this blog is to inspire you- people with small businesses, who wear all the hats and do not have much time for such things. We have something many do not have- a talent, a unique product or a loyal following to support our efforts. Use this power to do good, it feels great.