Thursday, April 7, 2011

{Event} A Night in the Rainforest

About a month ago I shared the story about building a green wall at our children's school and supporting the rainforest through a wonderful project {you can read about it here}.  The donations of plants to help start the green wall was speared on by the school's annual major fundraiser.

Every February, the parents, staff and alumni of Armbrae Academy get together for a fabulous night of silent and live auction, entertainment, dinner and dance.  The planning for the event begins long before the big night, always starting with a theme, and evolving into an amazing fundraiser for the school and our children.  I've mentioned my children's school in several postings since starting this blog.  I've talked about the sense of community, the giving back mentality of so many of the parents involved in the school, and the overall feeling that it's a place where people pull together to do wonderful things....all to benefit our children.

I first got involved with the planning of the Dinner Dance three years ago, working on the silent auction, learning what it takes to make this event so successful.  Over time my involvement grew and so did the rewards of watching all the hard work turn one night into a magical experience.  When I say it's a team effort...I really mean it!  It seems everyone has a hidden talent, some expertise that lends itself to some part of the planning and execution of this kind of event.  I could go on and on about the past Dinner Dance themes and tiny details....I DO love all the details!  

With this year's rainforest theme, Mist and Moonlight: A Night in the Rainforest, the focus turned to a growing concern....preserving our earth.

Although my involvement in the planning of the Dinner Dance was scaled back this year, I still wanted to contribute something to the big night.  Table giveaways are my favorite event extra!  Who doesn't love a little freebie when they go to a fundraiser?   In past years everyone received a little food treat at their place at the table — bags of the famous Chicago blend popcorn (at our Vanity Fair After the Oscars party), or a chocolate covered candy apple (at our New York, New York! event).   We knew this little giveaway had to keep with the theme of waste, no cellophane bags (an absolute favorite of mine), and reusable!  

I came up with the idea of something everyone could take home and plant....the question was how to package it so that every part of the item could be used.  Mini burlap sacs were ordered from my favorite online packaging store, Paper Mart.  My friend Andrea, who luckily has a "green thumb," gave me the idea of using peet pots instead of packaged soil, and Halifax Seed helped choose the wildflower seeds to include in each sac.  I ordered the custom made tags from

It never ceases to amaze me how I can think through all the details...and leave out one major factor....the assembly!

There is a phrase my mother always used 
when we were growing up....…
How hard can it be?

It was a labour of love.  Long hours stuffing each burlap sac with the peet pots....250 to be exact.  I realized quickly that this little project would take a bit longer than I originally thought, so I recruited my wonderful and willing friend Heather {The Culinary Chase} and her daughter, Laura to help with step 2....put the seeds in, attach the tags and close.

It was a beautiful night, complete with tropical flowers, a waterfall, and even little siamese fighting fish on every table {the door prize for one lucky table winner}. Although we didn't win the little fish, there were a few extras at the end of the night, and we were happy to give one a new home.  Our children give our fish very special names and this one was no exception....he was quickly deemed "Blue Jay Num Nums."

Little projects like this one are a small contribution to an already fabulous certainly doesn't make it any less rewarding!

{laura, heather, jennifer}

I promise the Bust a Move update is coming soon!


  1. How hard can it be, indeed? My favorite saying of Mom's! I love the idea you came up with - very original and really a wonderful way to be green. I've never heard of peet pots, but I'm looking them up online. I wish I had more of a green thumb, but I'm excited to maybe do something similar for some of my friends. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Can I just say, you are an amazing event planner. I LOVE all of your ideas. P.S. Your hair looks so cute straightened!!

  3. Peet pots can be found anywhere you buy planting supplies...there are many sizes and they can be planted directly into the soil to help get things started!

  4. I absolutely love reading about what you are doing for the community and the world around you. What an amazing thing to share with your children as well! All the best in the upcoming year! I also have to say I love the names that children come up with for their little pets! My sister came up with "Uncle Sam" last year for our little beta! Where did "Blue Jay Num Nums" come from? Very cute!