Gala Behind the Scenes – Part 2September 24, 2018
Editor’s Note: This is the second entry in a series by Brent Cummins, Joy’s House Gala Committee member. Read below to learn more about the behind-the-scenes work that takes place leading up to each year’s big event!
Have you ever been to a formal event and wonder how, just how did everything come together so perfectly? I have been to many annual fundraisers, but Joy’s House has by far been the best I have ever attended. After attending my first Joy’s House Gala in 2015, I knew I had to get involved. I mean, the purpose of the organization was already so dear to my heart, and I had this willingness to give back in a way that would help impact in a positive way. I was invited to be a part of the Joy’s House Gala Committee in 2017. I immediately jumped on board with this excitement. See, I have always had this love for event planning. I even had to be calmed down by my wife during our wedding planning!
From save the dates to thank you notes, there is so much more work that goes into an even than what people may think. This is where the Gala Committee comes in to make sure nothing is overlooked. Securing the venue, finalizing the event budget, mailing invitations, tracking RSVPs and managing the guest list, seeking donations for the silent and live auction items/packages, securing photographers and volunteers to assist in other areas, entertainment, etc., this is all done by the gala committee.
Committee meetings are held bi-weekly just to make sure we are all on track. There’s not one specific area where we focus individually, but we step up to assist where we feel most beneficial. Previously, I assisted in the design/social media aspect of the event, while also assisting in donations for auctions and securing a photographer. A lot of fun, laughs and memories were made throughout the 2-3 months while prepping for the gala. However, we always made sure everything reflected back to the importance of Joy’s House and the mission it serves to their guests.
Timeframes are created as the event date gets closer. We kind of really dig into what our strengths are to where we can really help out in the most effective way. We look at the overall fundraising goal to compare what has been raised- and what we can do to make sure we meet that goal. Reaching out for final donations, confirming and seeking additional volunteers (if needed) while still promoting the event to make sure it’s a ‘sell out’. This is what a committee member does.
The day of the event is completely crazy awesome. Additional volunteers come to assist the committee members setup and help transform a blank canvas into a beautiful masterpiece for the evening. Y’all, I am not even kidding when I say the entire team the day of are nothing short of magicians. The dedication to their assigned tasks, the willingness to roll up sleeves and help wherever needed, learning more about the individuals you’re working alongside. This is what it’s about. We all come together to make it unforgettable. This is also where friends are made and ‘families’ are formed. It’s worth every single ounce of energy and effort we have put into this event to just walk in and see everything in place for the first time. It’s breathtakingly beautiful. It’s something you would see in a movie. It’ s all because Joy’s House has a great group of leaders, as well as the Gala Committee who cares about Joy’s House the way they do.