“Let not a day pass without having learned something, without having overcome yourself in something, without having performed a kind act, without having accomplished something.” Mary Virginia Merrick
As members of the Christ Child Society, we are sometimes called upon to move out of our comfort zone to get something accomplished for our cause. Maybe it is seeking donations for an Annual Appeal or chairing an event or speaking to the media to get our story told. Whatever it is, we do it because we believe in what we do for the children who need us most.
In November, I traveled to the Toledo, Ohio chapter to attend their 22nd Annual Celebrity Wait Night event. I presented a seminar in 2013 that featured this event, and I have wanted to experience this fundraiser in person ever since! Due to the great turnout of 550 attendees, it was held in two restaurants, Real Seafood and Zia’s- beautiful locations in Toledo. Along with the “real” waiters, each table is assigned a ‘Celebrity Waiter” whose job it is to entertain the guests, make sure everyone is having fun and of course, seek donations for their effort! I was lucky to get Jane Larsen, the President of the Toledo chapter, as my celebrity waiter!! The evening included a delicious, relaxing dinner and a chance to meet many of the Toledo chapter members. This event raised nearly $41,000 for Toledo’s outreach programs. What a great success!
My fundraising travels continued in November when I attended Christ Child Society of Akron’s 47th Annual Boutique and Luncheon. It’s winter theme with decorations and a fabulous Christmas boutique certainly got us all in the mood for some Christmas shopping! There was also a delicious luncheon, style show with both celebrity and member models, and raffle prizes including a hand-made quilt. And those Akron members certainly know how to bake too! It was really difficult to choose what to bring home with me! President, Peg Klamert, announced that in 2017, Akron’s Christmas Boutique and luncheon will become known as Akron’s Red Wagon luncheon, following the lead of so many other Christ Child chapters.
Their special guests, who I had a chance to sit with at lunch, included Betsy Kling and Sara Shookman, both from WKYC, Channel 3 news. Betsy is a meteorologist who also has quite the sense of humor. During her opening remarks, she said to the group how happy she was to be with them and that she looked forward to seeing them at the Starlight Ball…well, when she said that, a hush came over the room, because The Starlight Ball is a Cleveland Chapter annual event, and some of the guests probably never heard of it. Since my table was right in front of the podium, I whispered to Betsy, “That is a Cleveland chapter event” and she proceeded to say, “Helloooo ladies…you do know that there is now a freeway that connects Akron and Cleveland, don’t you?? So, there is no reason you can’t go to their ball!!” Needless, to say the room erupted in laughter!
And it was again my pleasure to see Betsy Kling at Cleveland’s 65th Annual Starlight Ball on Saturday, December 3rd, at the new downtown Cleveland Hilton hotel where she was the evening’s Master of Ceremonies! 467 guests attended, to honor our Person of the Year, Bishop Roger Gries, and to celebrate the Cleveland Chapter’s 100th Anniversary! Cleveland’s largest fundraiser was a magical evening…the beautiful gowns, tuxedoed men, glittery centerpieces, and exciting auction items. Opening remarks were followed by a new video that the Cleveland Chapter put together under the leadership of past-president, Susan Ferraro Smith. The video featured our history and the daily impact we are having through our various outreach programs.
After the video, Susan and Betsy appealed to the captivated crowd to “Make a Gift from the Heart” to Help Us Help Them. It was so beautifully done!
The evening continued well into the night with a delicious dinner followed by hours of dancing!! It was an evening you did not want to end! So, Akron ladies and all the other chapters as well, YOU are invited to next year’s event which will be held the first Saturday in December 2017. We would love to see you there-and so would Betsy Kling!
In the Name of the Christ Child,