27 February 2016

Fundraising: Vintage-Style Country Tea Party

Last weekend I hosted my first fundraising event, a vintage-style country tea party in Gloucestershire. A lot of organising went into it, over half of which was done by my mum. I created the somewhat embarrassingly bad invitations and gave her a rough list of family and friends to invite but she really took it to the next level. Before I had even had a chance to think past triangle sandwiches and a Victoria sponge, she'd already made five different types of cake, asked her friends to bring brownies and cakes, and bought the ingredients for even more. Initially I was a bit put out by this - I wanted to do some baking and organising as well! - but it actually turned out that with running 14 miles that weekend and revision for an exam on the day after the tea party, I would have been pretty stressed out. (The exam went okay, in case you wanted to know.)

She also did a great job of filling the house with friends and family. Having moved out of Gloucestershire five years ago, I haven't kept in touch with many people in the area. Luckily my mum is like one of the people you read about in a chick-lit novel - she's retired and spends most of her time playing golf, walking dogs, gardening or doing charity work. This is great because it means she has loads of friends to invite and although we only gave people two weeks notice and it was the half term weekend (time with the grand kids!) we still had lots of people who were available to come.

All homemade (except the cherry pie which was a gift)
I tried to decorate the house with a vintage-style theme: a family friend lent us the most beautiful bunting she had made for her daughter's wedding last year; another let us borrow a pretty tea set with saucers and side plates; I finally got a chance to use the cake stands I'd been given for Christmas a couple of years before; I placed some pink roses in glasses around the room and we bought some matching table cloths and serviettes.

It was really nice to meet some of my mum's friends, see family that I don't get the opportunity to see very often and talk to people who were genuinely really interested about my running and how it was going. The key question everyone asks you is, 'how's the training going?' With some people they just ask it because they know that's what's expected but others you can really tell actually care. Everyone at the tea party, whether I had met them before or not genuinely cared. Some couldn't believe I was going to run all 26.2 miles and others offered running tips.
A huge thank you to everyone for your kind donations! It got slightly confusing with the mix of cash and card donations on the website, but in total we raised over £400 which is just amazing! I'm now nearly half way to my target, and with a bake sale at work coming up in 10 days time I'm feeling more confident about making it!

On a side note, I'm running 16 miles tomorrow - wish me luck!!

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