Volunteering to help a good institution and a good, nay GREAT, friend is more important than doing other things.
Friday saw me heading up to Katonah again to lend a set of hands to Christine and Caramoor as they prepared for their Opening Night Gala for their 68th Summer Music Festival.
I'm glad I did. It was full speed ahead. So full speed ahead, that I didn't take photos. Not that I really had anything exciting to photograph. It was a working day, full of Gala prep. Plus, I was under a self-imposed "embargo" on Gala details. I was there to help -- not goof off. Aside from Christine and Chrystal, her entire staff--from the CEO, to the Dir. of Development, to the other fund-raising staff--were new to Caramoor. She and I knew what was ahead, for the Gala and the Festival. It was time to buckle down. I brought snacks to help everyone through the day. I even kept some people hustling. (I know I got looks about it, but they'll "get it" later.)
The day consisted of many tasks, like double checking ticket buyer lists, alpha and table lists; doing research via online and database records on real estate holdings; helping with stacks of filing and sorting; organizing and stuffing over 250 gala gift bags with 2 types of perfume, stationary, a stress ball, brochures, and tissue paper, etc. (how to get 10,000 daily step in - walking around and around and around a worktable; moving, unpacking, relabeling, and repacking 15 large cases of wine; and ripping, stuffing, and playing a type of ticket bingo/concentration with all the gala envelopes. After all of that, who needs a gym? But whoa, have I TOTALLY lost my Caramoor/Festival muscle tone and stamina.
Sadly, due to the late, 1-train-an-hour, schedule from Katonah, I had to leave by 11:15 p.m. before they were really done for the day. You do experience the most interesting things on the late night commuter trains, like skunk smells, like drunk college kids, insomniacs, etc. Skunk is a particularly fragrant odor when mixed with drunk people fumes and the smell of stale urine on train platforms.
Here are some of my other tips from the day:
~ Volunteering is good, but can be exhausting too. Don't be too proud to file, shred, or aphabetize piles of paper if that's what the institution needs.
~ If you ever plan to attend a special event, please a) RSVP in a timely fashion b) pay attention to invite & c) thank the event staff. They're already tired BEFORE the event.
~ FINALLY: Do visit Caramoor. The grounds are lush, offerings diverse, and the staff is marvelous.
Did you know it was recently named one of CNN's top 8 outdoor music venues? Really!
Here's an Instagram from Caramoor from Opening Night;
"Tickets are printed, musicians have arrived, ushers are ready, and our Gala has begun! What a perfect night for #openingnight for Caramoor."
|via @caramoor Instagram|