Last September I was asked by Operation Shower to be a part of an awareness and fundraising campaign. They choose 10 party designers from across the nation to help spread the word of Operation Shower as well as raise money. Being a retired Marine, I am so honored and blessed to be a part of such an amazing organization. You don’t know what Operation Shower is?? What?? Operation Showeris a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring military families through joyous baby showers for moms-to-be to ease the stress of deployment. They have hosted 40 unit-wide showers and showered over 1,800 military moms-to-be. These showers pamper and honor women who make so many unseen sacrifices for our country as well as give them an opportunity to make connections with other women in a similar position.
I have been a part of 4 showers and this fundraiser. This week I was in Los Angeles and helped with Operation Shower’s largest shower to date with 120 moms sponsored by Babies r Us and Heidi Klum as the host….can somebody pinch me! I digress……
For the fundraiser we could do anything we wanted. I chose a Bollywood Girls Night Out. I have done tons of events but never a fundraiser! The goal is to make money not spend it so FREE was the optimal word! I went out begging and borrowing. My first thing was to secure a location. I wanted the event on a Friday night so I knew that might be very hard to find a FREE venue but I was determined. One day I got lost while out searching for a Goodwill….(LOL) and passed by the Phoenix Lodge. I remember trying to secure this place for another event. I decided to walk in and just ask for the ballroom to hold the event. The event planner Scott was in and after I pitched him about fundraiser he said yes! I was super excited especially because the space was just perfect and very large! The space generally rents for over $2000 so I was very grateful. In the corridor before entering ballroom guests were welcomed into the casbah and wrote their names on their name tag. The awesome Bollywood printables came from Bird’s Party.
When you have a large event space you need LARGE things (AKA props) to fill the space! I turned to the best prop house in Phoenix ~Themers for “Bolllywood” decor. The owner Casey was amazing and let me walk through his whole warehouse and pick out what I wanted. My fellow party planner friend Jamila from Parties on Purpose had picked up the UHaul truck to load all the FREE goodies in. The large pillars flanking the desert table came from Themers. Thanks for your awesome donation!
Of course my cake diva Liz from Lizzy’s Sweets n’ Treats did it again with this beautiful gluten free Bollywood cake. Why gluten free? Well, because I found out that my wonderful Guest of Honor is gluten free and this cake was made just for her.
The cake pops were from my forever friend and cake pop diva….Jen from Heavenly cake pops. She is also the inventor of the Easy Roller. Gosh, I have such talented friends!
Don’t you just love a cake pop flag? Part of the Bollywood printable Bird’s party created for the fundraiser.
The dessert table also had mini cupcakes and chocolate covered Oreos….everything sprinkled with gold! I loved the photo area and so did everyone else. The large props and rug including the large gold “styrofoam” vases were from Themers.
Along with dessert bar we also had a taco buffet and cash bar.
Thanks to Jamila from Parties on Purpose for the raffle part of this event. She went out and asked so many businesses for donations. Also, thanks to Laura of Pink Cake Plate for helping Jamila run the raffle through the event.
I asked another one of my friends who owns an event entertainment company would she donate a Bollywood dancer for the fundraiser. Renee from La Fiamma Entertainment not only donated 1 Bollywood dancer but 2! She also discounted the services of the Henna tattooist and she even split the cost with me. If you are in the Phoenix area and need any entertainment….you need to see what La Fiamma has!
The venue only had white linens and that was just not going to do for a Bollywood theme party! Bollywood is all about rich colors and gold!! I ended up renting colored linens to overlap the white and layered it even more with some gorgeous saris from a friend. The saris were stunning and made all the difference in the room. I wish I had photos of each sari! they were exquisite! The venue provided the glasses with black napkins….although not my first choice however it was FREE!
The most often forgotten space is the ceiling. I draped fabric along the wooden beams and hung IKEA lanterns that I spray painted gold.
I can’t say enough about Brenda Warner our guest of honor speaker. I seriously have wanted to meet her for years…..being the celebrity that she is, I didn’t think I would ever meet her in my lifetime. The day she agreed to be the speaker for this fundraiser I think my whole neighborhood could hear me screaming. Brenda was everything and more than I expected. Her speech was amazing and she is such a down to earth, genuine person. Her and her husband Kurt do so much for others with all their charitable organizations they are involved with. I am so blessed and believe in giving back and Brenda has a passion for helping others. AN AMAZING and beautiful woman….inside and out!
The DJ was Mike from Signature Sound DJ. He has been my go to DJ for over 4 years! He does all types of events from small to large.
Thanks to all the vendors who donated their products and services.
Photography~ Heidi Lee Photography
Programs and brochures ~ Custom Built Technology
Bollywood Printables~ Bird’s Party
Bollywood dancers/Henna Tattoo~ La Fiamma Entertainment
DJ~ Signature Sound DJ
Venue~ The Phoenix Lodge
Large Props~ Themers
Cakepops~ Heavenly Cakepops
Cupcakes, cake, chocolate covered Oreos~ Lizzy’s Sweets n’Treats