Need help Preparing for the Gala!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

As many of you know, I am a little nervous about the upcoming CFF San Diego's Well Healed Gala. It's the first time I've ever been to something of this magnitude, and honestly I'm just anxious.

Instead of worrying about it, or dreading it, I want to have the right attitude, but I need your help. This is, after all, the first time I've ever shown up at something and been on an official guest list, where someone tells me if I can come into the event or not. I'm so out of my league!

So please help me. Tell me what I need to expect. What do I do? What are some tips about talking with the folks who are going to be there? What types of things should I say? What will they say to me?

Your help is greatly appreciated. I will take any advice you feel like giving me!

7 comments:

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

My advice, for what it's worth, be yourself. It's a CF event so I'm sure sharing your experiences with CF is a good conversation starter. Also, if you wear your dress uniform (which I TOTALLY think you should!) that is a natural conversation starter. Mention the places you've visited. Those bigwig donors have probably traveled a lot so you might find some common ground there.

You two are going to do great! PLEASE remember to take pictures!!! I want to see you two all fancied up. :)

Dan said...

Stephanie,
You will be very pleased to know that I am wearing my uniform! We'll see how it goes, and I'll do my best to remember to be myself. Thank you for the thoughts!
Dan

Ronnie "Sickboy" Sharpe said...

If it's anything like the gala's that I'm "on the list for", you have NOTHING to worry about. I speak at dozens of these types of events a year and just sharing your story is what people want. Just do you.

Ronnie

Katey said...

I pretty much agree with Ronnie and Stephanie! Just be yourself! We have never had an official guest list at our gala's. If they purchase a ticket, then they are welcome to attend. This year our Gala was a little more informal than in the past! We have had some that are a sit-down dinner, and each table represents a company, family, etc. In that case, I guess you are basically on a list!

I think the advice depends on how the Gala is structured. What is going on during the event? Is there going to be an auction? Is it sit down dinner, or will there be some sort of food?

If you don't know too many people there, introduce yourseld. Just say, "Hi, I'm Dan, and my daughter Sam has CF." And most people will start a conversation from that! Tell people what you think of the event. Maybe say something like, This is a really nice place to host this, or this Gala was organized great! Something like that! Ask other people if this is their 1st time to attend a CF Gala and if it's not, ask them how the events have gone in the past!

Are you going by yourself or do you know anyone else that is going or invited? Like Stephanie said, people will probably start up a conversation just from your uniform, which is great! Then hopefully once you begin talking, you can incorporate your story (Sam's story) and other "CF" stuff into the conversation!

You will be perfectly fine...I know it just based on what you write here and how interested you are in fundraising and spreading awareness for CF! Best of luck and let us know how it goes!

Our local CF chapter (or state chapter, rather) had a Wine Opener tonight! We also have a CF Golf Event (Tee off for a Cure) Monday, Oct. 5th, that I speak at every year! I really love those events!

Dan said...

Ronnie, Katey, thank you both for your comments. I knew you two would weigh in and I'm very grateful for that. Ours seems fairly formal. It's black tie (which is why I cleared my uniform through the planner), something like $100 or $200 a plate, etc. I get the feeling that this is a big deal. I do wish, to be honest, that some people from San Diego would weigh in on this as they probably have been to them in the past.

Alicia will know a few people there, but other than that, we're on our own at this one.

You know the thing that makes me anxious (besides feeling like I don't belong) is that Sam has been so incredibly healthy (Praise to God!) that I feel like there is very little story to tell. "Hi I'm Dan, this is my wife Alicia, and our daughter has CF. She has had only a few infections and none of them required anything more than antibiotics." No punch to that, you know?

I know that I can simply tell them about the medicines, the treatments, and the quarterly appointments, but the fact is that maybe I'm not the guy for this.

Ok, I'll stop complaining. You all are right. I need to man up and do this.

Alicia said...

Steph-great thought about the uniform! That will help!

Ronnie-I love that "just do you". I need to remember that because I always feel like someone else can always say it better.

Katey- Just to give you specifics since you asked...It's at the Estancia LaJolla Hotel & Spa (LaJolla is just a wealthy beach city in San Diego). Each individual plate is $250. Of course people can buy a table of ten for $2500, and a VIP table for $3500. It is sit down, and we had to make dinner selections of beef & salmon or portabello stack in advance. At 5 is a VIP reception; 5:30, cocktails and silent auction; 7pm dinner, live auction and dancing. Guest Speaker is Lauren Russell. You're right about saying "this is a nice place"! That will be easy to do, and it just dawned on me I'm getting a date night with my husband. I need to look at it like that!

Thank you for being such a support to us and encouraging us for Sat night. We appreciate it more than you'll ever know. We'll let you know how it goes!

Dan said...

Alicia: Thanks for following up on that. I appreciate you putting out that information!

I'm grateful for you thinking that this is a date-night for us. I think in my nervousness I totally let that slip. I'm looking forward to our date!