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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

How to keep friends close at the holidays

The holidays bring families and friends together. They share the events that have happened since  the last time they came together and often tell favorite stories from long ago. They make memories that they will recount in the years to come as they laugh, celebrate, and share optimism.

I believe it is that feeling is what makes the Chilliwack Optimist Club's Circle of Friends Annual
Dance a great success. I wrote about this event earlier this month, and I return to it today because of a note I received from Glenda Standeven. She said:
For the past five years we've held an annual 'Optimist Club of Chilliwack Circles of Friends' fundraiser for kids in our community. We have a live band and this year we had an all night dessert buffet (because who doesn't love dessert?). Tickets are only $20 and tables seat 16 people. Every year we've sold more tickets than the year before. This year we had more than 300 guests and volunteers attend the event! 
pnw optimist clubs
Glenda Standeven
We encourage guests to bring food for the local food bank and new unwrapped toys for Community Services to distribute over Christmas to needy families. We filled three shopping carts with toys and an entire truck with food which made Christmas a lot brighter for so many I'm sure. 
It started off as a small idea five years ago. I invited my close friends to invite their close friends. We had 100 people attend a fun-filled pot-luck event that raised around $2000. The concept really caught on - if you invite 8 or more people we reserve a table with your name on it. Last year we included a full meal and a huge silent auction. We raised $10,000 but, as we are a very small club, it was too much work for our ageing members so this year we kept it simple with a bag draw auction and desserts and a no-host beer/wine bar. Our expenses were minimal and the profits were impressive! $8250 will go a long way to helping kids in need in our community over the next year.
It is so much fun getting circles of friends together for a good cause. Just ask your friends to help out by inviting their friends and family - before you know it you have 300 guests attending - and maybe some new members as a result!
All the best in the New Year fellow Optimists - if you need any tips on how we did it just send me an email
Circles of friends and family are exactly what the holidays are about. I don't think it's much of a stretch to imagine that is what being a part of an Optimist Club is about as well.

Thanks to Glenda Standeven for sharing even more about the Chilliwack Optimist Club annual fundraiser. Read more at the Chilliwack Optimist Club website.

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