Was the sun going to shine or was the rain going to win? Small concerns that I had the night before Spring Blingo.
As it happened and thanks to a summer cold I caught the day before, I was up at 5am on the morning of Blingo and very glad to see that it was at least going to be a dry day.
Blingo planning starts more than a year in advance and continues throughout the year right up to the day itself.
2 wonderful hosts in Grant Stott and Tonya Macari
5 members of staff at the Crowne Plaza Roxburghe Hotel looking after us pre-event and goodness knows how many during the event
3 games bingo requiring 3 house prizes, 3 line prizes and 3 backup prizes in case there are two winners (this year there were two line winners in one game)
1 menu tasting – chef knows we will invariably say we like this from this plate but can we have it with that from that plate and we love the jus but can we have it in a separate gravy boat. He has always come up trumps for us
35 raffle prizes – 35 really good raffle prizes
3 auction items
1 sweetie raffle item
28 table gifts – a tough one this year but literally at the last minute a company stepped in and sponsored these – so my immense thanks to Oilfield Mineral Solutions Limited
280 goody bag items – this is the one I find the hardest to source.
100 bottles sparkling water
3 cars needed to deliver all the ‘stuff’ to the hotel and
15 amazing volunteers to get it all ready and help during the event itself.
Yep, it’s big.
Our creative director is Tia Millar and this year she asked us to consider a spring theme – lime green. Well, I don’t know about you but we all loved it. Many guests said how lovely the room looked – she had chosen green orchids, green laser grass and we had green sand in our vases – the lime green tie-backs looked amazing (though ironing them was a huge task wonderfully undertaken by volunteer Ann for four hours in the afternoon, yes four hours!) Our newest volunteers Anne and Emma were superb too – Anne set up a wonderful balloon arch and Emma took on the running of the Buy a Service table.
Vice-Chair Susan runs the raffles, auctions and table gifts with ease now having done it now for 8 years.
Grant and Tonya are just amazing – wonderful people and superb hosts. Grant is so cheeky and Tonya a perfect foil for him.
I also want to thank Shonagh Byrne for allowing me to put up a photo of little Evie – her daughter forever 2 – and for loaning me albeit for just a few minutes and quite rightly not letting me or them out of her sight – Evie’s beads of courage. I found it very hard to talk to our audience about them – holding them in my hands, seeing her name in beads knowing that these were the first beads and seeing the butterfly next to them knowing that no parent wanted to be given a butterfly because that meant they had lost their child. The white beads were for chemo treatments, the red ones for blood treatments, the list went on. The beads felt heavy in my hands. How had a little girl aged just 1 endured so much?
Showing Tabby’s photo was lovely – I had asked her permission (and her mum and dad’s) – the photo showed her smiling like a cheshire cat as she finished treatment last week after a long two and a half years. I was thinking though that Tabby was not going to be smiling like that when she found out that the Lindt soft toy bunny she wanted (and had offered me £400 for from her own savings) was gone to a guest at our auction!!
We showed Michaela’s photo too – a great loss – 22 years old and a quite lovely person – a much loved Young Ambassador of It’s Good 2 Give – she also volunteered for the WRVS, and sang in the Sing in the City choir.
Last photo up was of Shannon taken 4 years ago a few months after her bone marrow transplant. She looked proper poorly with no hair and a NG tube still in. I said they might remember hearing about her 4 years ago at that Blingo and I wanted to give them an update. My surprise for them was that she was with us in her role as Young Ambassador and came into the room and chatted with Grant.
Blingo really is our favourite event and it is a massive team event so to all the team, whatever your role, I say thank you.
To Grant and Tonya a very special thank you for all you do.
To our printing partner Callprint Edinburgh who printed the programme and extras for us including signs for the Tombola and Raffle – thanks so much.
To Val and the team at Flavour – for feeding our volunteers – yum and thank you.
And to each and every guest at our Blingo our heartfelt thanks for your support and generosity
We raised £16500 on thursday – a PB for Blingo!
Here’s to the next one…….
Istvan Magyar was our official photographer for the event – you can see his photos here – if you would like a high resolution digital image we can arrange that for you for a small donation!
Jamie from We are Campfire came along and did a short film of the event – I love it and hope you do too.