A friend just posted this picture. It’s decades old. I was an ambassador, too. All the people responding to the post are like a blast from the past. Me and Janie APPOINTED this friend to the cocktails for a cause committee. We had the grown man sitting on the floor coloring event invites before he knew what hit him. #FunnyMemory #NobodyEverSaidNo #LoveMyLife
2017: Going through old pictures (cocktails) to find some of the ones when Cianci came and grabbed the mic during our charity events.
I found them.. but, I also found this sweet picture of sister and brother – AND – Godfather and Goddaughter Jane and John Mullen. So much adoration we had. And, they were so proud of us, too.. We were raised by the best… filling all your shoes will not be an easy feat for me.
A new friend of mine, but, an old friend of Johns asked me for some pictures of him. And here’s a great one because he’s with Janie and Michael is in the background. And I remember the occasion like it was yesterday and it was at the Grille 262 and my Mom and about two or more dozen of my FB friends were in that room of 100. I think one of my friends met a future husband at this event. I think that Janies friend Helene was at this event and it freaks me out that she and I are now friends and she married a man named John Mullen….
Everyone in the world should dedicate some time and plan events for good causes and invite all your friends and take tons of happy pictures. It’s a very fun and feel good thing to do.
1997. January. Committee For A Cause and Cocktails For A Cause.
Christmas For A Cause was a hit and all the people involved were listed in the Projo that week as I had intended (good marketing) - I had no choice but to follow up with another event.
I needed a committe - businesses that wanted advertising, businesses that wanted cash business, people who wanted to network for good and charities that wanted to play with my friends and leave us with money in their pocket. I was creating a Win/Win.
I marched into Graphic Innovations and said, "Jimmy, I'm having another party and I want to call it "Cocktails For A Cause" and it's gonna be held Parkside Restaurant and it will benefit the Amos House. Can you make an invite and order 3,000 and be sure to include all our business and committee names on the back. I want everyone in the state to know the good work we're doing.
Our efforts snowballed...It took a village.
Christmas for a Cause:
Providence Journal Santa Fund
Children's Holiday Hope Fund
Cocktails For A Cause:
American Cancer Society
AIDS Project RI
Providence Public Library
Smith Hill Center
RI Sunrise House
The Music School
Travelers Aid Society of RI
Meeting Street Center
Volunteer Center of RI
Prevent Child Abuse RI
Leadership Rhode Island
Multiple Sclerosis Society
Leadership RI Scholarship Fund
A Party with a Purpose:
Brain Injury Association, RI
Tri-Hab Substance Abuse Treatment
Outstanding Woman’s Gala - YWCA of Greater RI
Millions for the Millennium - Assoc. of Fundraising Professionals
Share Your Heart Ball - Friends Way /Volunteer Center of RI Collaborative
Moonlight at the Dunes - Thundermist Health Center
20 Anniversary Gala - Leadership Rhode Island
Great Chefs Taste of RI - RI Red Cross
Small Business Expo - South Kingstown Chamber of Commerce
Swing into Spring - South Kingstown Chamber of Commerce
My sister knew me very well and that's the reason we both laughed so often. When she replied to my post in 2013 and mentioned tying the bumper (fender) on the car and calling it a day, she was remembering us and our Dad.
Dad passed in October of 1991. I began driving Dad's fugly (frighteningly ugly 🙂 blue K Car because it was in better condition than the car that I had bought off the lot many years earlier. My car had been hit and run numerous times while out and about working in the restaurant and nightclub scene. I remember having a wiring issue that caused me to purposely hit pot holes so the radio would work. I liked when the radio was working because it helped to drown out the noisy exhaust. Needless to day, Dad's sturdy as heck K car was a better and safer alternative for me.
Dad's car had its own issues though. Some of us were birds of a feather when it came to getting full use of anything that was already paid off. Dad's fender fell off and I think he might've died before he could fix it properly. In the interim, he tied it back together and that is the memory that my sister was reliving when commenting on this memory.
I have to admit that the car was one of the most dependable cars I've ever had and because I was driving it, I didn't have to see the tied fender so it didn't cause me any concern. I remember years later that my Ex told me how intrigued he was that I had no qualms about valeting my tied together K car at Providence's posh Capital Grille restaurant and climbing out dressed to the nine. Free valet for the cost of a glass of wine was one of my best kept secrets.
Network. That's what I needed to do in 1995. I needed to meet professionals who needed my organizing and coordinating skills. I needed to network and make friends from strangers. I joined charity committees and chambers of commerce and I attended as many business networking events as I could.
It was during participation with all these organizations that I realized that with my decades of experience in the RI hospitality industry, I could plan more cost effective, income producing events on my own.
After being hired by many restaurants and nightclubs to host promptions, I got bit by the charity bug and that changed Odds 'N Ends mission. Odds 'N Ends began "Communicating For A Cause"
In 1996, the "For A Cause" trend was launched with Christmas For A Cause to benefit the Providence Journal Santa Fund. The Santa Fund is a great foundation that collects donations to purchase holiday gifts for local children making the holiday much more merry...
The first Christmas For A Cause was a success before it even happened. Committee members from Odds ‘N Ends Event Management donated card stock and crayons to a local elementary school and the 5th grade class spent days drawing pictures of what the holiday meant to them. The committee then folded, taped & stamped invites well into the night. Lots of work, BUT, well worth it when we heard someone say that they received an invite… and CRIED – plus, we saved a whole lot of money, too.
The full event details are too many to read, but, needless to say, with the support of Sh-Booms nightclub (donated use of club, setup, specials), the Warwick Technical School (catered the food, real inexpensive because it was school work), the Providence Journal (signage, flyers, etc), our favorite band TWYCE, and a whole group of dedicated, community minded family members, friends and associates – Christmas for a Cause raised the highest donation of the day and appeared on the front page of the local newspaper
Me: I like it here because they have Earth Wind and Fire in the jukebox. But, I like Newport better.
She: I like Newport, too.
Me: But the drive rots. I drink and Newport is kind of far.
She: I don't drink and I just bought a Saab convertible. I'll drive if you want to go.
Me: Oh yeah, that's awesome. Here's my number.
Who would have thought we'd become best friends, roommates, housemates during summers in Newport, fundraising charity promoting party planners - family.
I've been giggling since she left the other night after I told her my "closure" stories... stories that I haven't even written yet. It was like old times when I'd come home from bartending and collecting business cards and she'd come home from bagging and tagging patients and we'd exchange stories and plan shenanigans until the sun came up.
Boy did we have a good time!!
Among other tasks, I am reviewing my FB memories tonight. I realized that I was mistaken in this post from 10 years ago. A roommate and I hosted a home party once. It was a sex toy party. I have pictures somewhere. It was mid-90's when I was single.
We had so much fun that the first nightclub promotion that I was ever paid to organize was a sex toy promotion. I invited females only from 6-8 for product demos and sales and then we let the guys in to mingle from 8-closing. I know for a fact which of my friends was there!! I remember being out and about telling guys to come to the polo club that night because it would be filled with horny women. I did good. I was creative...
I forewent the smut stuff in lieu of charity fundraising via Cocktails for a Cause soon thereafter - but, boy.. we were fun!!
4 years ago
I've been remembering some real good memories lately...prompted by Jane's party and all the charitable efforts I've been working on. I feel like I came full circle with all the "for a cause" efforts that we all (Jane, myself and SO many friends) started 20 years ago.
We were so successful, so quickly with our efforts then, that I just got scooped up by some pretty large, reputable organizations and kind of lost sight of what I enjoyed most.. which was working more in the trenches (grassroots) and really seeing the joy that our many projects provided... tangible results for real people.
It's much more fulfilling for me to help who I want to help. I'm very pleased that I've come full circle and back to doing things that make me happy. And it all seems to be easier and more fun now with all the tools technology provides.
Surrounding yourself with people who are doing good, generous with time, treasure and talent... fulfilling way to spend a day.
I said it in '95... and it still stands true:
"a unique collaboration of individuals from the social, business and nonprofit sectors who utilize their time, talents and resources to heighten public awareness and raise funds for local charities all while having... cocktails for a cause"