On Friday, November 22, I headed over to Aurora for the weekend. I made a couple stops along the way to pick up cakes for the auction.  Once I arrived, I went inside and saw the room for the first time. You know that picture of the cat that sees a Christmas tree for the first time? Yeah, that was me (if not, the picture is posted below). The room looked awesome. For the next couple of hours, I helped set up a few things that were left. Later that night Maile, Abby, and I went to Aurora high school for Girls’ Night Out. Abby and I got to teach a session called “Mask” to two groups of girls. It was a pretty fun night.

On November 23, our Harvest Gala fundraiser took place. It was a night filled with good food, music, and lots of fun.

It started off with a cocktail hour and silent auction. We then went on to have dinner, which consisted of a three-course meal. I can personally say that is was amazing. National honor society members from aurora high school volunteered to make sure the dinner and the rest of the night ran smoothly. They did a great job and we are so thankful for them! Drinks were provided by James Arthur Vineyards and Prairie Pride Brewing.

Next came the live auction. First up were cakes, then baskets and trips. The cakes were donated by Sysco, Perks, Taylor May, Studio City Cakery, Grand Central Foods, Karen Lindquist, Rabbit Hole Bakery. This ended up being our highest grossing fundraiser with over 90 guests.  To finish off the night, the band Mojo Filter provided music for the dance. It was a perfect way to end the celebration.

One of my main tasks during these past few months was to help find items for the auction and I am so glad that it was successful. There was a lot that I learned from the fundraiser and what it takes to prepare for it. I’ve never experienced working with businesses to gather donations before. The process varies for different businesses. For some, you just explain the fundraiser and they agree to donate. For others, you have to fill out request forms and submit tax information and documents. It really impressed me how many businesses said they would love to donate, especially the ones in other states. It made me realize how many great businesses there are in Nebraska, Denver, and Chicago.

–Elizabeth

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