Friday, August 5, 2022

The Biggies and More...

 Judi and I have attended and volunteered at a number of fundraising auction dinners. These are a lot of fun and, of course, raise money for worthwhile causes. In the next few articles, I am going to tell you about two of the larger and more interesting fundraising dinners we have visited and about some of the funny things that we have seen at other fundraising auctions we have attended!

The Warren Michigan Banquet (Pre-Banquet Continued) ...

Inside the hall, commerce was taking place! This was in the form of RGS staff and Delta flight attendants selling special raffle tickets and manning booths where specialized games took place. The games consisted of various tried and true tests of skills or luck. The excitement of these games was reflected at the long line-ups to participate. The girls, who were mainly selling the special raffle tickets were also very popular. Guests were given a long “string” of theatre tickets. The number of tickets given were determined by the ticket sellers taking one end of the tickets in one hand and then stretched across their chest with the other hand. Participants gravitated to the girls that could provide the most tickets! This spectacle lasted for a few hours. As the dinner hour approached, Sam asked everyone to find their pre-assigned seats. The pandemonium turned to chaos as guests scrambled to find their seats.

Friday, July 29, 2022

INSIDE with the Festival Nomad (No. 36)

 Over the years I have attended, worked with and organized hundreds of festivals and events. With this new series, "INSIDE with the Festival Nomad", I want to give you an "inside" look at some of the festivals and events that I have been involved with or that I have visited. Along the way, I have had a lot of fun and sometimes frustration, but I have never been bored!

The Biggies and More...

Judi and I have attended and volunteered at a number of fundraising auction dinners. These are a lot of fun and, of course, raise money for worthwhile causes. In the next few articles, I am going to tell you about two of the larger and more interesting fundraising dinners we have visited and about some of the funny things that we have seen at other fundraising auctions we have attended!

The Warren Michigan Banquet (Pre-Banquet Continued) ...

Inside the hall, commerce was taking place! This was in the form of RGS staff and Delta flight attendants selling special raffle tickets and manning booths where specialized games took place. The games consisted of various tried and true tests of skills or luck. The excitement of these games was reflected at the long line-ups to participate. The girls, who were mainly selling the special raffle tickets were also very popular. Guests were given a long “string” of theatre tickets. The number of tickets given were determined by the ticket sellers taking one end of the tickets in one hand and then stretched across their chest with the other hand. Participants gravitated to the girls that could provide the most tickets! This spectacle lasted for a few hours. As the dinner hour approached, Sam asked everyone to find their pre-assigned seats. The pandemonium turned to chaos as guests scrambled to find their seats.

Over the years I have attended, worked with and organized hundreds of festivals and events. With this new series, "INSIDE with the Festival Nomad", I want to give you an "inside" look at some of the festivals and events that I have been involved with or that I have visited. Along the way, I have had a lot of fun and sometimes frustration, but I have never been bored!

Saturday, July 23, 2022

INSIDE with the Festival Nomad (No. 36)

 Over the years I have attended, worked with and organized hundreds of festivals and events. With this new series, "INSIDE with the Festival Nomad", I want to give you an "inside" look at some of the festivals and events that I have been involved with or that I have visited. Along the way, I have had a lot of fun and sometimes frustration, but I have never been bored!

The Biggies and More...

Judi and I have attended and volunteered at a number of fundraising auction dinners. These are a lot of fun and, of course, raise money for worthwhile causes. In the next few articles, I am going to tell you about two of the larger and more interesting fundraising dinners we have visited and about some of the funny things that we have seen at other fundraising auctions we have attended!

The Warren Michigan Banquet (Pre-Banquet) ...

When Judi and I arrived back at the banquet hall, the RGS staff was already there. They were putting the finishing touches on the room! At about 4:00 p.m., a group of beautiful ladies arrived! These were the raffle ticket sellers. All of them were flight attendants from Delta Airlines. Each year these girls volunteered their time to help the RGS at this banquet. I think, although I am not sure, that they were paid a small honorarium. Most of the girls knew what to do (they had been there before) and they started preparing for the evening. Prior to each banquet, all of the staff and volunteers were feed a wonderful meal served in a room off to the side of the main hall. The meal consisted of “Prime Rib” and all the “fixings”! It was quite a feast! Everyone ate quickly and then went back into the banquet hall. We each had been assigned specific stations and tasks, so we all headed to our respective areas. I had been assigned to the “greeting desk" where we welcomed attendees, took their ticket and sold raffle packages. The packages ranged from $50.00 to $250.00 per package. Quite a few people purchased more than one package! Many of the packages were paid in cash! Each person who purchased a raffle package received a gift for each package purchased. They could choose from a variety of knives, compasses and more. The most popular, of course, were the knives! Since participants came in waves, and there were over 1000 of them, the “greeting desk” was hectic for quite some time. Judi had been assigned to the cash table which wasn’t as busy in the beginning, but towards the end of the banquet became just as hectic. I will let Judi, in her own words describe what she experienced a little later in this blog!

Friday, July 15, 2022

INSIDE with the Festival Nomad (No. 36)

 Over the years I have attended, worked with and organized hundreds of festivals and events. With this new series, "INSIDE with the Festival Nomad", I want to give you an "inside" look at some of the festivals and events that I have been involved with or that I have visited. Along the way, I have had a lot of fun and sometimes frustration, but I have never been bored!

The Biggies and More...

Judi and I have attended and volunteered at a number of fundraising auction dinners. These are a lot of fun and, of course, raise money for worthwhile causes. In the next few articles, I am going to tell you about two of the larger and more interesting fundraising dinners we have visited and about some of the funny things that we have seen at other fundraising auctions we have attended!

The Warren Michigan Banquet (Set-up - continued) ...

This was a huge banquet and a lot needed to be done to set the banquet hall up. The RGS staff had pre-organized everything back at their headquarters in Coraopolis, PA (a suburb of Pittsburg), so everything was well packed and well marked. Even though everyone (the RGS staff, not Judi and me) knew what needed to be done, it all still seemed to be mass confusion. Eventually the hall was set up and everything was in its place. Exhausted, we all headed to our hotel rooms to rest, clean up and later to eat. The plan was to arrive early the next morning to make any final adjustments that needed to be done. A little after noon, all the remaining tasks were completed, we were told by Sam to go and get some rest and then come back at about 4:00 pm. This, even though the doors wouldn't open until 6:30 pm. Judi and I went back to our rooms to rest and then get ready for the evening’s activities. We had no idea what was in store for us!

Saturday, July 9, 2022

INSIDE with the Festival Nomad (No. 36)

Over the years I have attended, worked with and organized hundreds of festivals and events. With this new series, "INSIDE with the Festival Nomad", I want to give you an "inside" look at some of the festivals and events that I have been involved with or that I have visited. Along the way, I have had a lot of fun and sometimes frustration, but I have never been bored!

The Biggies and More... (Part One)

Judi and I have attended and volunteered at a number of fundraising auction dinners. These are a lot of fun and, of course, raise money for worthwhile causes. In the next few articles, I am going to tell you about two of the larger and more interesting fundraising dinners we have visited and about some of the funny things that we have seen at other fundraising auctions we have attended!

The Warren Michigan Banquet (Set-up) ...

The Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) represents thousands of Ruffed Grouse and American Woodcock hunters across the United States and Canada. To help perpetuate their good works, they hold a number of fundraising auction dinners a year. Their Warren Michigan Banquet was, and perhaps still is, one of their 2 largest fundraising dinners. The other large banquet was held in Pittsburg. Judi and I attended the Warren Banquet when it was much better times for the "Big Three" auto makers. This event would draw over 1000 attendees. At the time, we were supplying RGS banquets with most of their framed art. We had a great relationship with the Society and when the Executive Director, Sam Purseglove asked if Judi and I would like to come to Warren and help with the banquet, we jumped at the chance! The event was being held on a Saturday evening, so Sam asked us to a day or two in advance. When we arrived all the boxes were laid out and ready to be set up. Sam asked if we were ready to pitch-in. Judi and I took a deep breath and said yes!? 

Monday, July 4, 2022

INSIDE with the Festival Nomad (No. 35)

 Over the years I have attended, worked with and organized hundreds of festivals and events. With this new series, "INSIDE with the Festival Nomad", I want to give you an "inside" look at some of the festivals and events that I have been involved with or that I have visited. Along the way, I have had a lot of fun and sometimes frustration, but I have never been bored!

Working the Show... (Part Eight)

13.  How Come?

Have you ever wondered why certain things happen and then asked yourself, "how come"? Here are some of mine.

a.     How is it that when you pack to go to a show/exhibit everything fits nicely. Everything has a spot and is organized. Yet, once you try to re-pack, to come home, nothing fits! Even though you have sold product and in reality, have less boxes, it just doesn’t fit! I guess it’s the same scenario as the boxes story. You plan and label everything. But, by the end of a long show/exhibit we are just too tired and exhausted. Our minds aren’t as focused or clear.

b.     How come the last hour of every show seems to be longer than the entire show?

c.     How come during the entire event/exhibit, exhibitors are all friends and willing to help one another. But when it comes to take down everybody is at each other’s throat. We have witnessed out and out brawls.

d.     How come, when you are most exhausted and almost finished packing up during the take down, is it that, as parched as you are, there is not a vendor in site to sell you a bottle of water?

e.     How come at the end of a show all of the “dollies” are spoken for, even though they aren’t supposed to be used until you are packed up and ready to leave the premises. The same goes for loading docks. People take loading dock space long before they are allowed to. It seems that exhibiter’s rules and etiquette disappear at the end of a show. As do the security personnel who are supposed to enforce it?

Saturday, June 25, 2022

INSIDE with the Festival Nomad (No. 35)

 Over the years I have attended, worked with and organized hundreds of festivals and events. With this new series, "INSIDE with the Festival Nomad", I want to give you an "inside" look at some of the festivals and events that I have been involved with or that I have visited. Along the way, I have had a lot of fun and sometimes frustration, but I have never been bored!

Working the Show... (Part Seven)

12.  Traffic Jam...

Did you ever have one of those days? Judi and I were at the Hamilton Copps Coliseum and we had just finished exhibiting at the Hamilton Sportsmen’s Show. It was a small show but well attended and we had made a small profit. Even our take down and pack up went fairly smoothly. While Judi was completing our packing, I went to get our van. It was an old van but performed perfectly. I was allowed to drive around the circumference of the arena close to our exhibiting area. Again, everything went smoothly. We were able to pack the van up in record time, and were ready to go. We put our seal belts on, put the key in the ignition, turned the key, and nothing happened. NOTHING! And I mean Nothing! No Engine roar, no click, click, click. Nothing! The problem was we were sitting in the middle of the Coliseum's circumference isle and no one could pass us. Other exhibitor vehicles started lining up behind us. It was, to say the least, an embarrassing situation. Finally, a group of exhibitors helped us push the van backwards to the freight elevator. From there, another exhibitor gave us a boost and our engine finally started. Now it was late and I had to leave poor Judi sitting on a dark, cold, and snow blown winter's night, right on the curb outside Copps Coliseum. I couldn't risk shutting the van's engine down. She seemed to be happy when I returned. I thought it was because we were finally able to load the remainder of our exhibit into the trailer attached to the van. It wasn’t until much later, that she told me that while she was waiting one of her favorite childhoods T.V. Stars, Paul Michael Glacier, (from Starsky & Hutch fame) had been walking around (checking out the facility for an upcoming movie). Tired but both happy with the outcomes, we were headed on our way home!