By Terri Rausch (For any questions, contact Terri at email@example.com)
In Michigan, people are fond of playing Euchre (a trick taking game with a trump, played by four players in teams of two) but this would work with any similar card game.
This is a pay to play type of event. I charged $40 per person to come to the party, eat and drink for free, play 6 to 8 to 10 rounds of Euchre (depending on how much time you have) and bid on silent auction items. I have hosted this 3 years in a row. In the future I may consider raising the price to $50 per person but I would gauge a few of my closest friends to see what the “market will bear.”
Donations – The idea is to get all of your supplies (or as many as possible) for free so that you can have more profit for NF2 Biosolutions. Whatever we cannot get donated, Karl and I pay for out of our pocket. But you wouldn’t have to do that if you are not able, you would just take it out of your proceeds.
Venue – Venue costs can be the biggest expense. The first two years I hosted in a church basement and the fee was minimal (cleaning fee only). The third year I hosted at Karl’s office studio. Picture is pasted below. Be sure the venue can provide tables and chairs or you will have to bring in your own card tables and chairs.
Food – Whatever you can get donated goes along way. What I can’t get donated, I make or buy myself or ask a couple friends to make a few dishes. My menu in the past has been: Fried chicken tenders from Kroger, sweat and sour meat balls, a tray of rice or potatoes, Greek salad, another salad, rolls or breadsticks. I offer pop, water, beer and wine (alcohol if your venue allows). For dessert, I make up a couple of different cakes (I love to bake) and I usually serve decaf coffee.
Silent Auction and raffle baskets – I get as many products donated as I can but keep the item in line with the number of guest that I have. In the most recent year I had 40 people in attendance and about a 15 items on the auction.
Rotation of Play – I have a direction sheet and score card made up that I pasted below. I use white poker chips labeled (with a Sharpie) 1A, 1A, 1B, 1B, 2A, 2A, 2B, 2B etc. up to the number of tables you have. This past year with 40 guests, I had 10 tables, so the chips went up to 10A, 10A, 10B, 10B. Your players choose a chip and go to that table number to play the first round. Both 1As are partners and both 1Bs are partners at table number 1 and sit opposite one another. Then at the end of the round, chips are tossed back into the basket and new chips are drawn. In Euchre the team that reaches 10 points first wins that round. But to keep things moving along, each table played only four hands per round, each player dealing once in that round.
Day of Event – You should identify a person to sit at the check in table, take their money if they haven’t paid for it already, issue them their name tags, et. Once everyone is checked in, be sure you have enough people to fill the tables with four. If someone doesn’t show up or cancels at the last minute, Karl and I are on hand to be the fill in person.
You should also have one of your guests or yourself be the MC to keep the evening flowing along smoothly with announcements, encouragement to keep bidding on the silent auction items, and give a few facts about NF2 and NBS.
Rough timetable for the event:
6:00 – guests arrive
6:30 – Dinner
7:30 – Euchre begins
9:30 or 10:00 – Dessert served, top 3 scoring players announced, silent auction winners announce. If I have had a good amount of donations, I usually try to save a gift card or 3 to reward the top three players, if not, they are not expecting anything, just an evening of fun with friends.
Pitfalls: You can do that math, 40 people at $40 each plus some money from the silent auction, I raise about $3,000 with this event. There is some work to it, but my guests (all friends and acquaintances) have fun and support a great cause. The first year I had 24 guests, by the third it grew to 40. I hope to increase this again at my next event which will bring in more money and perhaps raise the fee.
Questions: Feel free to ask me at firstname.lastname@example.org