Top tips for running a stress free ladies night:-
We normally fit our timings in round about the local community Gala day ie the weekend before but with caution as there’s a few charity events that take place May/June so we try best not to clash as much as possible to allow for best attendance. We would normally try set at date in May a good 6 months in advance and book the community centre located beside our school. There are mums in the PTA that are also in the community association so they check & sort the let for hall hire.
Once the dates set our PTA normally schedule in a meeting of just members (no need for the head mistress or deputy head that normally would attend to give their time up for) just to go through and allocate tasks specially for the ladies night. This takes place about 6-8 weeks before hand. Too early folk forget what they have been tasked to do and too late folk get stressed there’s not enough time.
One of the most important things to remember is almost every member of the PTA has a day job they are fully committed to so the theme that if every one does a bit then it keeps it fair.
It is at this meeting we go through a full run down of everything we need for the night: DJ, food, tickets printed, bingo tickets, raffle tickets, etc and allocate these tasks out. Most times it’s the same folk every year that stick to sorting the same thing as it’s keeps it simple.
We keep a list of everyone who donates a raffle prize so we know who to approach the following year. i.e I always contact the local cinema & local leisure facility as they are always happy to support us with a few vouchers so I have the contact details of who to speak to etc so folk know to allocate me to that. One of the members will also post on both our village parent Facebook page; village business page asking for donations, with one or two highlighted folk to co ordinate collecting the donations/storing them. Someone will also take the responsibility for table clothes/decorations etc toilet candles and soaps etc and cleaning materials.
After the tasks are all allocated we simply keep in contact by pta group what’s app thread and one parent will pull together a spread sheet of tasks allocated and sign off when it’s completed so we all know what’s done & what’s still to be done.
Roughly 2 weeks before we post on the parent Facebook page that tickets are available from all members of the PTA £10 per ticket for that you get hot food buffet & disco. It’s a byob night. one person will keep all the printed tickets (printed off by a parent) then as folk request them we will collect from said member - sell the ticket(s) - then ensure the money is handed back to whoever has the tickets. This enables them to keep tabs of tickets V money.
Next up is the morning of the event, as many of us that are available meet up before lunch put all the tables out. We also “name” the tables. The tables are in groups of 8-10 so we start by placing the larger groups requesting tickets at the tables of 10 first and ensure everyone who has bought tickets together are sitting together or as close as. For example some community groups come as a group i.e the Zumba class or netball class so it’s only fair to ensure they are all seated together.
We set a table up at the front with a seat for someone to collect tickets. On the night we arrive roughly half an hour before to ensure everything is ready to go, as folk arrive & get seated two of us go round and sell raffle tickets/tickets for stand up bingo. At each seat there will be an envelope and a pen if folk wish to take part in 50:50 one person will take on the task of going around and collecting these in.
We kick the night off with bingo/stand up bingo then onto raffle prizes this allows two of us to count and document the takings from each game and work out the prize amount for 50:50 and get it ready to go back out to the lucky name picked. After this we have food (put on by local caterer) then play a game of pap for £1 per shot with a litre bottle of vodka as prize (which is hopefully donated) then onto disco and a bit of down time for the PTA to join in and enjoy themselves.
The evening finishes at midnight with the PTA (and normally a few kind hearted locals) tidying everything away wiping & folding / storing away tables etc brushing & mopping the floors and cleaning/clearing the toilets before shutting up & locking up the centre.
It certainly takes a bit more effort than some of the fundraisers we hold but as a small school & small village we feel the whole community really looks forward to this and brings everyone together. We have everyone attend from ex pupils to grans and our net profit is usually between £900 - £1000
This year we I corporated a selfie booth and asked for donations, it was very much enjoyed but didn’t pay for itself so is something we may not repeat in the future. We also had an 80’s theme and put out that fancy dress was optional and that went down a storm with everyone very much getting into the spirit of it.
Last thing we do, as soon as a total profit has been worked out we post a public thank you on the parent Facebook page stating the amount raised giving our biggest thanks to e erroneous who both attended and supported.
By Vanessa Lucas St Hugh of Lincoln Catholic Primary School
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