Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mother's Play

I am not sure it is possible to describe the day, but I’ll give it my best shot!It actually began on the Thursday, when Karen Paterson and I spent the day at the venue for the set up and bump in of some of the exhibitors. Now, you already know this, but I want to state it anyway – our branch president is a dead set legend and should be dipped in gold! That woman works tirelessly in the background and Mother’s Play would not have been possible without her. On Thursday she worked herself into the ground working out the set up with me and liaising with the hire people, lighting techs etc. We finally left by 5.30pm and I got home about 7pm and collapsed into bed, because..…Friday began at 5.30am! Did you know the sun isn’t up then? Amazing! So my darling daughters and I dragged ourselves out of cosiness and set of for the city and arrived at 7.30. The remainder of the exhibitors were setting up by 9am, so there was lots of pointing and questions etc. The ABA tables flanked the main entrance outside the door, so tables etc had all to be moved out and set up. Wonderful helpers like Vanessa Hardie began arriving early and set about following our muddled instructions. By 10am, all was set and IT began!I have still no idea of numbers, that will come later, but every activity had plenty of people enjoying it. All the exhibitors seemed busy most of the day and the exercise workshops were popular. Massage tables were always occupied and a lot of hands were spa’d! The scrap booking activities were popular and lots of goodies were being smuggled home!!! (or was that just me??)Outside, the extraordinary Karen Ingram worked the crowd as our MC, with diverse entertainment including belly dancing, stand up comedy, live music and a fashion parade! All appeared trouble free. The fashion parade was a hit, with our Yummy Mummy models working the stage like pros, even with toddlers in tow. My daughter Melissa brazenly modelled four gorgeous maternity bras, which seemed to keep the attention of the sound guy especially!Vega’s Denise Scott was a huge hit, as were Rebecca Barnard and the Mud Cakes. Meanwhile nearby, Dharma entertained the kids and the two face painters had a steady crowd.Our wonderful volunteers – no names, no omissions! – did a fantastic job selling entry tickets, prize draw entries, showbags, ABA raffle tickets and generally making the whole entrance run efficiently. We had hundreds of prizes and a lovely percentage were won by ABA volunteers. My favourite was the winner of $1000 worth of saucepans from Tupperware, won by counsellor Jen Hocking who had travelled in by TRAM and needed a TAXI to get them all home! My daughter Melissa swapped her prenatal yoga class voucher for a trapeze school class, which she thinks is a better deal (!) CE Merryn Watkins coordinated the prize draw wonderfully and will follow up notifying absent winners and arranging collection of their prizes from thee office.Pack up went smoothly and by 3.30, the venue was it’s empty shell once more. Karen P and her mum, plus me and my girls packed up the last of our stuff into Tardis-like cars and then we could go HOME! Our lot arrived roughly twelve hours after we had left! Early nights were in order as aching feet and legs screamed for mercy.I received lots of thanks for Mother’s Play, but they must be shared. Karen and Karen (P &I) did as much work behind the scenes as you can imagine. Liaising behind the scenes with venue, performers, equipment hire etc is mostly invisible but essential. Our lack of success with funding from City Of Melbourne meant the purse strings were tight – very tight – and numbers were crunched within an inch of their life. Despite best efforts, we will have gone over budget – but to put on such an event without significant sponsorship means the money has to come from somewhere. It is my quest that we will have an event sponsor for 2008 and free our branch from funding this wonderful awareness activity. PLEASE mention this to everyone you meet in the corporate world and let them know what a wonderful opportunity exists.I already have exhibitors booked for next year but am not thinking that far ahead yet as we have a small gathering here in August which will now be my focus! But Mother’s Play will be back next year, so start planning to be there!Tired but elated,

No comments: