Friday 4 July 2014

Afternoon Tea & Pimms Fundraiser - Part Two!

If you've read part one of this post, then you'll know what this post is all about, if not, please do pop on over and read part one here. Please note that names have been changed to protect identity's.

A variety of tea's were served, including green, herbal and normal tea! Along with Pimms, and then for the folks like me who don't like tea or Pimms, soft drinks and juices were also available.
For the day, we planned to have afternoon tea and Pimms, with a few raffles to see the day through until the evening. However, due to the circumstances of Mandy being rushed into hospital a few days before the planned event, the day changed, but thankfully was not cancelled, as of Mandy's wishes.

Before going into detail, I'd like to say again another huge thank you to all the companies that was involved, there will be a part three of this post thanking all the companies involved. We was sadly let down by a local bakery just two days before the event due to one of their ovens breaking, and so we was panicked as we had no cakes arranged!

We went from having zero cakes to hundreds (literally), so a huge thank you to those companies who rushed last minute to get items out to us. Without your help, we would not of raised as much as we did! So thank you!

Just a SMALL selection of the cakes we had! There was cakes covering the kitchen, in the outhouse, in the fridge, piled up on the stairs, in the front room! Everywhere you looked was filled with cakes!
My brother Paul is very fortunate to have a great network of different professions around him, his mother Julie (the pair of them being the main two event organisers) works at a florist company who very kindly leant us the hot water urn, the beautiful tea sets, the chair covers and much more. The event was hosted at a family home in the end, to keep cost to the organisers as low as possible, however a entry fee was charged to each person, this covered their food and drink and every single penny made was given to Mandy.

We had two tables, and borrowed the other one, both gazebos was also very kindly lent to us! As was the chair covers and some chairs!
My big brother Paul, is fortunate to have great organising skills and could even make a old pair of shoes into something pretty! Our original idea as mentioned changed last minute, however Paul made the day absolutely beautiful and perfect! I, along with our sister Chelsea, Paul and his partner William set up the tables, and decorated as best as we can, but Paul done so so much!

The beautifully decorated tables! Each guest had a cup and saucer along with a spoon, a side plate for sandwiches and cake along with a napkin and fork. Each table had a teapot, which was filled with hot water from the urn, a beautiful matching jar filled with milk, and sugar for the guest to help themselves too.
 Without him, we would of been eating plain bread for lunch and as for Pimms, well a cheap lemonade with a slice of lemon would of been the maximum folk would of been drinking!

Paul checking the tables before the goodies were loaded onto them!
Before we knew it, the guest had started to arrive, it was a honour to have Mandy's mother attend the event, as she too is fighting cancer, it's true what they say that thing's come in three's as Paul's stepfather has just been diagnosed with cancer and has recently had a 16 hour operation to remove the cancer. Julie (Paul's mum, my dad's first wife) however, held her strong face and done so amazingly well!

Guest included family members, friends, partners, colleagues and Paul's clients.
Julie done a fantastic opening speech of the day, thanking all those that had come and those who couldn't attend but who purchased tickets and donated prizes. Julie was full of thanks to myself on behalf of the companies who donated so much, whether prizes or cake, she was eternally grateful! It was an emotional speech and Mandy's mum felt the love and thanked Julie with a kiss and cuddle.

Julie and Mandy's mother embracing a much needed cuddle!
We planned to have a opening raffle, a evening raffle and a later raffle with the idea of bronze, silver and gold being the themes in ideas of prizes. However due to the very near cancellation of the day, with Mandy being hospitalised, we decided to do a tombola, a lucky dip and one massive raffle!

The tombola was 50p a go, or three turns for £1. We ended up having more on the table then when I first took this picture as some guest very kindly brought prizes to donate along with them.
I'd say about 90% of the guest won at least one item, we had so much, it was lovely to see so many win. Myself, Paul, William, Chelsea and Julie was unable to participate due to us being part of the event team, but we was equally as pleased to participate in helping locate prizes with tickets ending in 0 and 5.

A line of guest waiting to pick out their tickets.
Next up was the lucky dip which cost £1 per go, but you was guaranteed a prize. We had to put a cover on the bucket due to the small winds we had that day! There was packaging flying all over the place and a quick game of chase by myself and Chelsea to get the foamy pieces back into the tub! There was around 25 prizes in the lucky dip, again all donated from companies, family and friends! I know quite a few guest was hunting for the Yankee Candles of which Julie donated.

Roll up, roll up, £1 per go! I was 'manning' this table, and so, forgot to ask someone to take pictures of people digging deep whilst I help a cover over the top!
After the lucky dip and tombola was finished, which didn't take that long as guest were kindly digging deep into their pockets with excitement like little kids, the sandwiches and tea was served, followed by the cake. The sandwiches (well the bread and the fillings) were purchased by Paul and Julie (the two main organisers).

Just two stands of the cakes, each table had two stands of cakes each.
The guest had a choice of sandwiches, from egg mayonaise, tuna and cucumber, cheese and tomatoe, cheese and cucumber, salmon, ham, ham and cucumber and egg and cress. There may of been more, but I was so busy helping I only managed to nab a cheese and cucumber one whilst getting the next lot of plans ready.

A variety of sandwiches, and a huge variety of cakes in all shapes and sizes!
Each table also had a stand of cakes placed on them, I would like to tell you all the different cake varities, but there was just so many, but I'll name a few, lemon meringue, red velvet, lemon drizzle, chocolate, popcorn, Victoria sponge, butterfly cakes, lemon swirl, white chocolate, red forest fruits, carrot cake and many, many more!
Julie doing the Afternoon Tea speech, unaware of me about to snap a picture!
As you can see in the picture above behind Julie, as well as there being two stands of cakes on each table for the guest, we also had a table full of cakes, once cakes we're being emptied we would just keep replacing them! We had chocolate swirl cakes, jam swirl cakes, coconut macaroons, Byron Bay cookies, cherry bake-wells, scones with cream and jam, the cakes we're literally endless!

This is the tables I am referring to in the paragraphs above, how beautiful does it all look?

Did I mention that guest were welcome to Pimms throughout the whole day? Paula very kindly got into the spirit of being the drinks tender and could be seen going around with a jug of Pimms offering guest a top up or a cup of tea or coffee.

Paula topping up a guest glass of Pimms, it's a tough job winning  a cake in the tombola, why not wash down your happiness with some Pimms?
Paula in the background of the picture below, making up another jug of Pimms, its just a shame Paula was driving and could only enjoy one glass herself! Paul takes a little five minute break with our Dad and Dad's partner Liz. I love the sign Eat, Drink and be Merry, it was one of the ideal quotes of the day, considering the circumstances!

Liz, my dad, Paul and Paula.
After the tea, sandwiches and cake was served, it was time to do the raffle. Within the weeks leading up to the raffle, Paul and Julie each held a book of raffle tickets and sold the tickets to family, friends and even Paul's clients (he's a hairdresser). Paul finished his book, which held 999 tickets, and Julie's £very nearly finished! Each ticket was sold for £1 each, or a strip (five tickets) for £2.50.

Julie's tickets were pink, and Paul's were blue, no gender discrimination intended! After all, Paul is gay and would much rather prefer pink!
With the raffle, we did plan to ask Mandy to do us the honours of picking out the tickets, that way it was as though she was 'picking' the winners. However as Mandy was hospitalised a few days before, we asked Mandy's young daughter and her only child to do us the honours, it was a emotional moment.

Julie and Ella opening the raffle.
Thank's to all the fabulous companies who donated raffle prizes, we had so so many prizes to give away and each person there won at least one thing which was amazing! There was also many winners who was not at the event themselves, but who's tickets were picked and their prizes was allocated! We had so many prizes, we literally had to put a piece of paper into some envelopes with what the winner had won!

And that's not all, guest arrived with more donated prizes! Julie's work also donated a beautiful bouquet of flowers!
When I said so many, I really wasn't kidding, all the chocolate and food related prizes were kept underneath the table out of the sun! We was so blessed to have such a great day weather wise as the day before we encountered lot's of rainy showers! Luckily, the Mr Sunshine decided to play with us the whole time!

Winners take their pick of the bunch!
We decided as everyone is different and has their own taste, we would let the ticket winner choose their own prize from the table, one by one each prize was taken from the table, with happy guest filling their bags with prizes!

Liz and my dad won loads, they spent around £100 on raffle tickets, and on the tombola, lucky dip and cake sell. They went away with the Lego prize I had my eyes on, here's Liz giving me a cheeky thumbs up, I'm sure she's saying nah nah nah nah nah, I won, I won! Bailey the puppy dog quite fancies them chocolates!
Once the raffle had finished, more cake, yes more cake, tea/coffee, soft drinks and Pimms were served. Everyone took a break and reflected on the fantastic day we had. I was really pleased to see so many smiles on so many faces, I was just sad at the reason behind the gathering, and wish we was gathering for something else, and not a fundraiser.

Paula decides one glass won't hurt and enjoys a glass of Pimms!
Surprisingly to the guest of the event, as only the organisers knew about this, but we had one more special raffle tucked tightly up our sleeves for those who attended the day. Apart from members of the organising team, everyone's entry tickets were put into a basket, and three lucky winners would win something off the table.

The first winner goes up and picks the hamper, full of cake and not into cosmetics, he leaves the Victoria sponge prize cake for someone else, and the Lush star prize set for another event guest.
The first winner picked a lovely home made/hand made hamper by my brother Paul, when I've mentioned before that Paul's qualities are endless they really are! From hairdresser to beautician, from handy man to baker, from crafter to fundraiser, he really is a talented man!

All home made by Paul! He is a man of many talents!
The next person to take to the stand was a Lush obsessed lady, I believe she was able to win all three smaller Lush sets in the raffle by having her name pulled out three times, I'm pretty sure she was as shocked as everyone else when her name was called again for this surprise raffle!

LUSH star prize winner!
The last winner didn't get to choose what prize they had, but they did however come away with a prize winning cake! It was only Paula wasn't it, the lady who was determined to kick start the diet the following day! Sorry Paula!

Mmm, prize winning cake, but she was starting her diet the next day! Maybe she could burn it off at the festival she's attending this weekend thanks to the fabulous prize she won during the raffle! The third post will contain all the details on prizes and companies involved!
Then, well, the day had very nearly come to an end. Everyone was offered more tea/coffee, soft drinks and Pimms, and MORE cake. A few took up the drink offers, but no one requested any more cake, I think everyone was so full, it was just the organisers who hadn't had any chance to eat anything. I made my dash away to the cake stand and spotted the last vanilla butter cream cupcake with a white chocolate star on top! My favourite!

But wait, we still had tons, and tons of cake left! It was like the store room of a bakery, we went from having no cakes due to the bakerys oven breaking, to hundreds, literally hundreds of cakes! We decided to have a last minute bake sell and we're pleased that so many cakes went! We made up a box for Mandy to feast upon, along with some sandwiches, we all know about boring hospital food is don't we! The cake sell was a huge success and all helped towards the final!

Ella* and her partner with the two tickets to Drayton Manor they won!
There was one person at the event, who held the hearts of many last Sunday, that was Ella, Mandy's daughter. Managing smiles and enjoying herself the best she could, we all thought of her so much, and still do. Having to deal with a terminal illness of your only living parent must be extremely hard. I know so many are proud of you Ella! I hope you have a wonderful day at Drayton Manor, and I hope you enjoyed the rest of the items you won!

William - Paul's partner enjoying a bottle of Hiver that Ocado very kindly sent.
Once everyone had left, it was time for the organisers to have a quick break, bar Julie who had to go and visit her husband (also battling cancer) in hospital, and Chelsea who had to get home to her little boy. My nan very kindly watched Spud for me, and so I stayed behind to help Paul and William. Our sister Paula also stayed behind to help, and Paul's auntie Debbie was also there being a fairy God mother washing up all those cups, saucers, plates, and cake stands!

Take care Mandy*, we are all thinking about you during this difficult time. I've heard you was ecstatic to hear we raised a whopping £925 for you and Ella. I know it's impossible, but try not to worry, none of you will ever be alone. Your family are wonderful, and your daughter is a absolute beautiful and wonderful person! I admire you both, and the strength you have.

In honour of Mandy and Ella who's names have been changed to protect their full identity.

Please find part three of this post to be published very shortly.

Jada x


Post a Comment