Preparing, Planning, and Bowling

So we had more than a busy weekend preparing for our event, hammering out the details, and finally throwing the First Annual Bowling for Wishes event.  Our day started at about 1 o’clock on Saturday when we started our drive down to Warwick.  We met up with Chris at his house and began putting together the gift baskets which we wanted to give away as raffle prizes.  We organized the prizes in a manner that we thought would make the most sense to be put together and gave the baskets creative names, but we weren’t even close to done yet.  Then we went to the dollar store with Chris to pick out decorations, another couple baskets, along with glow sticks and other essentials for the event.  We also went on a mission to find stamps, raffle tickets, and cellophane to wrap the baskets which was actually harder to find than anyone expected.  After we got all of the essentials we went to Chris’s shop to use his supplies and tools to put together the sponsorship boards and the raffle prizes board.  We each had our own tasks such as typing what needed to be printed, cutting the pieces of paper, gluing the pieces to the poster board, and laminating flyers.  Everything ended up looking great, but once again we were amazed by how much time was consumed.  Through all of this we made jokes, talked about the event, and generally had a good time.  When we finished at the shop, we went to Chris’s house again, put the finishing touches on the baskets and then ordered a feast of pizzas from one of our sponsors.  All in all, a good, fun, and productive day.

The next day we left for Warwick at 10:45 to pick up balloons for the event and gift cards for Chris and Dana.  We then went to Chris’s house to pick up the rest of the decorations and gift baskets we needed.  We then went to bowling alley and put up those decorations.  This included putting paper up on the glass doors to block the daylight, making a few last minute signs, hanging balloons at the entrances, setting up tables for the raffle and DJ, and speaking with the employees of the bowling alley so we could have the entire operation run smoothly.

Once the event started, time really began to fly.  People seemed to show up all at once buying their lanes and raffle tickets.  This time went by like a blur.  We did give away prizes for certain bowling competitions, we did an interview with a local newspaper, took pictures, attempted to video tape the important parts of the event and everyone seemed to have a fun time.  We did the raffle towards the end of the event and I think the prizes we had were definitely something the people at the event wanted.  After the raffle we had about another half hour of bowling and then cleaned up all the decorations we had put up and went out with our group for a Rhode Island specialty.  Hot wieners all the way, mousetraps, and coffee milk.  We went with Chris, his family, and some of the guys he works with at Tech 911 and had a good time with them.

Finishing the event has a bittersweet feeling.  We worked really hard and put a lot hours into this event so we are all delighted that it was a success, but at the same time now its over.  We all agreed to keep in touch and I look forward to seeing everyone again in the future.  It’s not goodbye, it’s I’ll see you later.

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Sunday Meeting

Our meeting on Sunday was easily one of the best meetings we had all year.  Liz had offered earlier in the week to make dinner for Mike and I and we could also have our regular meeting as well.  Dinner which consisted of chicken and pasta with sauce was absolutely delicious! Thank you Liz!  So it was nice that we all got to sit down and have a meal with each other and while we had dinner we talked about a few different subjects which for the most part did not have much to do with our project.  We talked about relay for life which Liz had put a great deal of time and effort into and we also talked about Mike’s job interview on Friday which went really well.  After dinner, we sat down and discussed what we were going to do in the upcoming weeks leading up to the event.  There is still quite a bit of work to be done, but we decided that this week is going to be our last push to make partnerships, and find sponsors before we begin to lay out our final plans for the event.  So we spent some time on Sunday focusing on making a timeline for the event day and thinking about what is going to need our time, focus, and energy that day and leading up to that day.

Dinner with Chris

Last night we met with our partner Chris at a restaurant named Sophia’s.  Chris wanted to meet here because Sophia’s will be sponsoring our bowling event and he thought that we should check out the restaurant and try some of their food.  To be honest, the restaurant was delicious.  I think I speak for the team when I say that every bite was absolutely fantastic.  I personally could have continued to eat all night if I did not think I might have burst at the seams.  We did talk some business towards the beginning of the meeting especially about finding and talking to businesses that might be interested in sponsoring our event.  Chris gave us the truth and said this way was hands down going to be the toughest part of putting this event on.  He told to expect a lot of people to say no to us but not to give up hope because every sponsorship we do get is another one we did not have before and we are that much closer to helping a child’s wish come true.  He also gave us a few pointers such as which areas of Rhode Island are loaded with smaller businesses that are more likely to say yes and to make sure that we always ask to speak to a manager or an owner because they are the only ones who can say yes.  He also told us about a couple of businesses that have said yes in the past, although we are mostly on our own for the business we choose to ask to sponsor our cause.  The majority of our time was spent enjoying excellent food and even better company.  In the restaurant environment we all felt a little bit more free and shared a little more about ourselves.  We learned a lot about Chris and he had us in stitches for a large part of the time we were at the restaurant.  We have had our own team bonding experiences, but it was really fun to have a similar type of experience with our partner and to have such a good time doing it.  I think getting to know Chris better is an important aspect to what we are trying to accomplish because the closer we are with the people and the cause we are working for I think the more we are willing to sacrifice time and energy to do the very best we possibly can.  As a team we walked out of the restaurant more than appreciative of Chris for treating us to dinner, but also we all felt as if we had become more than just partners with him.  Now he is much more like a friend.  So the next thing for us to do is dedicate our time and energy going to these businesses and seeing if we can add a bunch more sponsors to our event and help further our cause.

Sunday Meeting

At the meeting on Sunday we discussed how we wanted to use social media to help promote our event and help people learn more about our cause. We now have pages set up on Facebook and Twitter.  We also talked about using our connections through The Cowl, PC TV, and WDOM.  In future posts we will keep you updated on how things are going through these venues. We also talked about getting permission to visit elementary schools in the area of the bowling alley to give pamphlets and raise awareness about our event.  We also discussed the importance of getting donations such as food for the event and prizes for a raffle.  We realize that we have the ability to provide a ton of advertising to any organization that would like to help us out.  We can provide advertising on our blog, the Facebook page, Twitter, and we can also provide advertising on the flyers we will be handing out.  We already started outlining the flyer at our meeting.  We will have another meeting with Chris this week and continue to keep moving forward to make this Rock n Bowl event enough to make a child’s wish come true.

Team Bonding

We have discussed the importance of team bonding on multiple occasions, and generally we talk about how positive experiences bring people in the organization closer together.  Before the PC vs. Villanova basketball game Liz and I had an unplanned bonding experience that happened to due car trouble.  We had planned to meet outside Accinno and walk to my house to pick up my car (named Dom in case you were curious) then arrive early to the game to help another organization raise money for Children’s Wishes.  I get in the car, turn the key and nothing.  I relax, take a deep breathe, attempt to coax Dom with some encouraging words, turn the key, and nothing.  After looking around I realized that my roommate who had borrowed the car earlier had left the headlights on and parked all the way in the back corner of our driveway so there is no easy way to jump the car from the angle it’s parked in.  So I asked a couple roommates to help and there were four of us outside pushing the car as hard as we could over snow and ice. We were slipping, falling, laughing, rearranging other cars, digging tires out.  It was a fiasco, but in the end it all worked out and we were able to jump Dom and still get to the basketball game in time to help out.  So while this may not have been the positive bonding experience we had planned on having, we all had a good laugh and became closer as a result.  We all learned stress and tough situations can build bonds just as well as good times.