“Judith would like a summer garden party at her home, she has a lovely garden and would love to use it for the benefit of the region. Do you have anyone from your club to help?” “Of course, I said, my presidential year is coming to an end, I shall volunteer.” To be honest, I thought it would be easy! Marisha Place of SI Lichfield & District, tells the story…
Alison sorted out floats and was in charge of the finances. Katie sourced jam, butter and clotted cream, her husband Philip made 100 + scones and we asked the members if the bakers amongst them could provide cakes and, oh my goodness they were amazing and numerous!
The weather was forecasted to be good but just in case we needed cover.
So the day arrives, cakes cover the entirety of the dining table and the weather is good.
We borrowed marquees, tables and chairs which were erected Michelle, Bill and Nick, with Ian supervising. Place settings were organised by the experienced designers Carol and Anne.
Renee had designed and made the most fabulous tags to decorate the afternoon tea packages. Whilst Renee was adding the tags to the lunch bags Judith, Debbie, Bill and I hung bunting around to decorate the garden.
The prosecco was situated for those wishing to purchase and decorated, whilst Katie and Philip made the sandwiches in the kitchen, Debbie, Renee and I filled the bags in the conservatory. Heather set up the alternative “mystery” book store, where books were covered in brown paper with a brief description of the story to entice the reader. Debbie Hardman-Wilson bought an interesting one!
Grete Willacy made a stunning cake and set up the stall to guess the weight of the cake, the raffle table was set with the prizes and then…That was when the forecasters got it wrong, the rain came and it wasn’t light showers. Thank goodness the marquees were there. It didn’t stop Carol and Anne from selling the raffle tickets!
Attendees started arriving with raincoats – taking positions in marquees, the summer house and a large tree.
Robin was put in charge of tea and coffee provision shortly after I made a very bad coffee. So we started delivering the tea pots to the tables along with the food bags. It was lovely to see lots of smiling Soroptimists chatting away, ignoring the fact it was raining. It made me proud to call them Soroptimist sisters, not one had prosecco in their hands though!! That didn’t take long to rectify thankfully as Katie had bought 18 bottles!
Judith was the best possible hostess, looking after our guests ensuring that they were happy, wandering from marquee to marquee chatting and spreading cheer.
The rain started to clear and once the food bags were eaten the cakes were available in the conservatory with one of the best cake bakers, Renee wielding the cake knife. People loved the cakes – they looked and tasted wonderful, and a number of people bought extra to take away with them.
The raffle was drawn, with the amazing prizes claimed, the book stall was empty, the food eaten and the cake weighed 8lb 1oz! Jonquil Lambert of Stafford Club correctly guessed the weight by comparing it with the weight of her new born son – and she was only 1oz out! Just the tidying and hand washing of the crockery. Ace hostess Judith looked after our guests until they departed. Then she offered to do the washing up – just as Katie was just finishing it off!
We raised around £1532 for Voice of Hope (final figure TBC), the Regional President’s charity of choice. They are a group that helps educate professionals and public about modern slavery and supports the victims in any way they can.
Finally, when the guests had left, we all breathed a sigh of relief, had a glass of prosecco each and toasted Soroptimism, a fabulous day, amazing team work and new friendships.
SI Lichfield & District
Click on any image to enlarge it