It Takes A Village - A First-Timers Perspective on Coeur

What a fantastic evening!  Couer de Cuisine 2017 was a rousing success!  It was my first time at Coeur, and I couldn’t help but measure it against all the many fundraisers a Past District Governor and Rotarian for thirty years has been to. The final numbers are but one indication of the success of an event.  I’d like to share my perspective on why this was such a success by looking on the elements that made it so.  First, such an event doesn’t happen without a committed leadership team given a vision and ‘marching orders.’  We had that in Paul McNamara as the Chair.  He selected strong Committee Chairs that in most cases were experienced and could be trusted with the tasks necessary. We worked well together as coordination is key.

Second, we needed generous and willing Rotarians, who came through with sponsorships.  Their organizations and our major sponsors– Rancho Guejito, the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps , are to be acknowledged again and thanked.  Aelott Air Conditioning, Shuster Oil, Hanson Real Estate, Joel Beyer, Inc. ,The Calac Family, Doug and Margaret Moir, Rick Greenstein, Mission Pools and Baker Electric all came through when asked to support our event financially and with their attendance. We had two members – Rich Marino and Jack Raymond, who through their generosity became sponsors, and allowed others to attend in their place, not the least of which was 5 young Rotaracters from JP Catholic University.  I want to personally thank those of you who said “yes” when asked, and offered an amount that brought us close to our goal. 

Third, the venue was transformed from a meeting room to a stunning black, red and white ballroom filled with live floral arrangements fit for a gala thanks to Sandy MacDougall and her team.

Fourth, Keith Richenbacher and Ericka Schwarm did a tremendous job on the selection of food and beverages.  Too many to try in one evening!  This may be one of the most critical of puzzle pieces. We want our guests to be stunned at the quality and selection.

Fifth, the silent auction, and Dan Sunquist’s team, had  a long hallway laden with donated gift baskets and services sure to add to the total amount raised.  It is months in the preparation and securing of donations.

Sixth, it couldn’t have been done without the volunteers – Rotarians, their family members, JP Catholic U Rotaractors, the fraternity and sorority students.  The number of hours is mind-boggling and it’s all coordinated by a talented and tireless Ken Mannell. 

Seventh, Mike Freet worked so hard for days before and after the event on the logistics. 

Eighth, a big thanks goes out to Dick Daniels and team for all the advance marketing and promotion that made for a lively full house. 

Ninth, the Sponsor Reception honoring Lois and Delisle Calac, was lovely thanks to the details Wendy Jo Shafer put into it.

Tenth, the satisfaction of knowing all this work makes for the ability to conduct necessary projects and to support the efforts of worthy organizations in our town.

Do we need more volunteers next year?  Definitely.  Do we need more sponsors, both from inside our club and from the community?  Yes.  Do we need EACH Rotarian to participate in some meaningful way, so that the workload is shared?  Oh yes. Can we do a better job of marketing our signature event to others so that we can spread awareness of Rotary – who we are and what we do – to other like-minded individuals?  Yes we can.  But for me, this first event was magic.  What’s better than fun, fabulous food, fellowship, a sense of accomplishment, getting to know your fellow Rotarians a little better?  I don’t know, doing it again? 

Call me, Jan Jones.

Thank You The Sponsors That Make Our Mission Possible