What To Wear To Big Red Block Party 2016

Back-packs, bell sleeves and booties! Fall fashions are upon us, and we’re taking a look at some of the fun ways you can wear the latest trends for this year’s “blackout” themed Big Red Block Party on November 5th!

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Now that you’ve online shopped your way to a killer new outfit (or two), you need a place to wear it! Buy your ticket for Big Red Block Party today!

JLO Summer Wrap-Up

In just a few days, the Junior League of Omaha will be kicking off its 98th year with the first General Membership Meeting. It has been a busy summer for our League filled with training sessions, committees kicking off their projects and fundraisers and meetings to gear up for the upcoming year.

Many of our members have already been hard at work throughout the summer donating their time to various projects. In July, many members volunteered at the Color Run during packet pick-up and on race day at water and color stations throughout the race course.

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Done-In-A-Day partnered with FITGirl, Inc. and provided volunteers for the FITGirl Empowerment Camp for girls ages 8-14. Junior League of Omaha members were assigned a group of girls and assisted them through activities during the day that included focusing on fitness, good eating choices and group team building activities.

Project shifts have also started with volunteers sorting books for A Book Of My Own and getting backpacks ready for distribution through Project Hope Pack. In addition to all of the volunteer opportunities for our Active Members, the League is also excited to welcome 92 New Members to our organization this year.

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Each year, the incoming President is tasked with choosing a theme for the League year. For 2016-2017, our President, Chaley Chandler, selected the theme of “Giving Back is Always in Style.” Giving back is just one part of the mission of The Junior League of Omaha and voluntarism has always been second nature to our members. All of our League Members share many different strengths that make make an impact on each other and our actions. Our members gain training and knowledge from both our General and Committee meetings, and also from each other. Supporting other League Members, learning from each other and giving back to one another are all of the keys we’ll need to have a successful year. Our mission and our relentless act of giving back to the community and to each other will always be in style! You’ll be seeing this year’s logo all year long to help serve as a reminder of the one goal we all are working towards.

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As fall rapidly approaches, there’s even more exciting things to look forward to beginning with Barn Bash on September 9th. There will be salsa and guacamole tasting, a nacho bar and BINGO! The League will also be hosting the American Girl Fashion Show Grand Finale on October 8th and 9th at Shadow Ridge Country Club. Please join other League Members as we commemorate the Fashion Show and how it has created shining stars out of both children and adults. Rounding out the season is the seventh annual Big Red Block Party on November 5th. Watch the Nebraska vs. Ohio State football game on multiple big screen TVs while enjoying tailgate-themed faire and the opportunity to bid on a wide variety of silent auction items. Finally, Our Cookbook Committee is also hard at work and needs your submissions. If you have any great recipes to share, please visit www.JLOCookbook.com.

5 Pro Tips for the Silent Auction Organizer

Organizing a silent auction is not for the faint of heart. The task needs a dedicated leader who is process driven with exceptional organizational skills. This leader must also build enough wiggle room into their plan to grant a little grace to the volunteers helping with the project. When orchestrated well, a solid silent auction can bring in a substantial amount of money at an event.

5 Pro Tips for the Silent Auction Organizer

Ashley Hall is a second year active in the Junior League of Omaha. As the Silent Auction Coordinator for one of the League’s largest fundraisers, Big Red Block Party, her committee’s efforts raised over $14,000 in silent auction revenue. The overall event raised over $32,000.

Members of the League regard Ashley as an authority on silent auction organization. Her committee chair and fellow League member, Katie Triplett agrees. “Ashley goes above and beyond in her organization of a silent auction by creating a donation tracking system that allows for detailed and accurate record-keeping while streamlining the packaging process.  In my experience, Ashley delivers package, price, and descriptions for all items well in advance of an event.” says Katie.

5 Pro Tips for the Silent Auction Organizer

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1. Filters are Your Friend.
“Knowing how to use Excel will save you hours and many, many headaches. Get ready for 20 columns, a master key of colors and highlights, and figuring out just who is lucky enough to have editing permission if sharing the document,” says Ashley.

2. Take it Piece by Piece.
“And I mean, literally, piece by piece. Assuming someone else is handling supervising solicitations, your job starts when the donations roll in. Number everything. The first donation becomes 1. If there are three items in the package they are items 1a, 1b, and 1c. Every single item that is donated gets it’s own line in the spread sheet and gets a tag with that same item number on it. When it comes time to make packages, you make package numbers on your spreadsheet and move the items around. Once you’re happy with the way things look, you can physically find the items you’ve selected for each package and store them together with the materials that will be used to showcase and send home the package,” Ashley advises.

3. Perfection Comes in Layers.
“You don’t have to have the perfect package name or package items right the first time. What’s important is to start somewhere, make your first round of package groupings, or descriptions, or what have you, and then reassess from there. If you shoot for perfection on the first try, it will be extremely overwhelming.” says Ashley.

4. Getting Real = Getting it Right.
“Marking off an area that is equal in size to the true arrangement you will be setting up is crucial. Making a diagram of what packages are going to be showcased in what section and on what support boxes well before the day of the event gives you more time to troubleshoot other issues as they come up on the day of the event. Setting up will take hours regardless, so best be prepared,” says Ashley.
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5. Create a Support Team or Committee.
“While organization is a key element to the silent auction, there are many parts that will need a lot of hands. You’ll need a dedicated team who is fun to work with and plan on spending the upwards of 200 hours of working on your silent auction. If you put together a strong committee you’ll make new best friends. If you don’t focus on the strength of your committee, you’ll end up with a disaster and doing most of the work yourself,” says Ashley.

In an ideal world there would be enough volunteers for everyone to take on one of the following tasks:

  • Figuring out the silent auction layout at the event
  • Writing witty package names and descriptions
  • Designing and printing labels for bid sheets, packages, the bags the packages go home in, etc…
  • Writing social media posts to tease the items prior to the event spots
  • Creating gift certificates for package winners who don’t have an item to take home, as in they won an experience.

Be sure to call on friends and other community members to understand what they have seen work well at other silent auctions. Recognize that there is always room for improvement and improvise. With hard work, dedication and organization, your silent auction will look fantastic!

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Special thanks to Ashley Hall and her team Kelly Giese, Lakelyn Hogan and Jessica Dugger  for such a successful production and sharing best practices.