Take a look inside the first steps of putting on the annual DIS gala with our new gala chair.
Kari Bird is the 2016-17 Gala Chair and will be chronicling her journey as she works to get the 25th anniversary gala together. This piece comes from her blog, which you can follow here.
It was June, around the time when one starts phoning it in on parental school duties, and I received a call from Lorraine Gachelin, Director of Marketing and Communications. She asked me to join her and the Director of Advancement, Whitney Houston, to discuss the Annual Gala. I assumed they wanted to review the financial report I recently submitted as the PTO Treasurer.
I arrived at Waterview, unsuspecting and ill-equipped. Whitney and Lorraine greeted me in the conference room with suspiciously big and friendly smiles. They offered me coffee and water but before I could answer Lorraine said, “Kari, we think you would make an awesome chair for next year’s annual gala.”
Whitney swooped in to close the deal. “You come highly recommended,” she said.
Flattered and floored, I gamely accepted. Who wouldn’t enjoy a good challenge as the Texas summer heat was about to set in?
It was an honor and pleasure to be asked to chair the Gala. Working with other volunteers is rewarding and fun. It is no secret that our kids are well worth the fundraising effort. Besides, browsing cool venues, sitting through food tastings and scrolling through Pinterest for décor ideas is enviable work. As for the actual asking for money part… that’s another blog post.
Admittedly, my husband and I had not attended the Gala for the first few years we were at DIS. We finally bought tickets to the Year of Brazil, followed by Spain and Japan. Each time we splurged on more auction items culminating in a gift bag from The Lucky Dog Barkery for our new puppy (yes, we are suckers).
I hope to share what I have learned over these past years. The Gala really is a big deal. It is the PTO’s signature fundraising event. For many it is the only time of the year to don an elegant evening gown and a tailored tux. For others it is an opportunity to mingle with friends old and new over cocktails and a chef-prepared meal. We all look forward to the array of prizes, trips, and luxury items offered for auction and enjoy the friendly competition that ensues. But most importantly, we anticipate the arrival of Gala Season because it is an opportunity for all parents to show support for the DIS mission.
I invite you to generously give during Dallas International School’s Silver Anniversary Year. I congratulate you for reading this far. I will do my best to rise to the occasion and, with plenty of help, deliver an exceptional event.