Hospitality with a Cause: Large Event Planning!

I’ve always said I’m not an event planner, and I still feel that way. I don’t know how my friend Kimberly (Cordially Invited Event and Wedding Planning) does it – with such grace and ease! She’s a natural – I am not! But I did pull it together with great help from friends, for a very special night a few weeks ago.

When some of my husband’s cycling friends, Jeff and John, were preparing to do a bike ride from Canada down to Mexico, they decided to make it a benefit to support a vital cause for children, The Protectors.


This unique anti-bullying program helps create bully-free zones by bolstering the courage of bystanders and authority in what my husband calls the “Theater of Bullying.” The Protectors shows public and private schools that what’s really missing to combat adolescent bullying isn’t knowledge but courage: the ability to do the right thing when feeling fear at the same time.

Where did my job come in? Planning an event in about 2 weeks, to support The Protectors.

However you look at it, a small dinner party or a larger event, the goal for hospitality is to help people to relax, have a good time, and to feel warm and welcome. What made this example of hospitality unique is that The Protectors actually encourages people to be hospitable in a more powerful way toward those who are being picked on by others, especially physically and mentally challenged kids, the most bullied group of kids in most schools.

From The Protector’s standpoint, the goal was to help people become more aware of bullying; to encourage bystanders and authority to stand up for the targets of bullying!

Our friends got in on the cause with their band, Mercy. Amazing musicians. Thank you Lynda, Dave, and John!


We used an old dance hall in a quaint town.


I so appreciated how our kids (and friend, Jeff) helped out.



Chocolate dipped strawberries.

And yummy brownies.

Delegated lemon bars.

Easy juice on ice.

And cute couple serving drinks (yup, my nephew and niece!)

Tulip season and pretty ribbon.


Jeff viewing the map showing where The Protectors curriculum is being used across the world.

Collage of The Protector’s information.


The Protector’s curriculum was the first lesson that the Uganda orphans used when moving in to their new orphanage.

Great people.





Great support.





Great friends.






We really appreciated the Emcee (Senator Jason Atkinson) and his sense of humor.

It was just a magical night.

I know the secret of planning any party is to “plan ahead.” But what if you feel like you’re not cut out for the stress of “bringing it all together?” Dinner parties are much simpler, because you’re not worried about meeting the needs of 100 people and you don’t have as many details to sweat over. But very generous people came together to either donate or make this event take place. Thank you, friends!

I’m good for about one large event per year. And this was a great one. These two cyclists are riding across the West Coast to raise money for this great cause. If you want to join in on the fun married to a great cause, please email me or click on the links below!

What about you? Do you enjoy planning smaller, quaint parties, or are you a “big party girl?”

To learn more about The Protector’s go here.
To lear more about the band Mercy, go here, or to their Facebook page, here.
To follow Jeff’s blog, as they start their ride May 4th, go here.

14 comments on “Hospitality with a Cause: Large Event Planning!”

  1. Pingback: EVO ‘10: Social Media for Social Good!

  2. Really enjoyed reading this post. Congratulations on pulling off a great event – its not as easy as it looks & comes down to great time management skills (I know, I am an event manager + a number of other things in the hospitality arena). Great cause, thoroughly enjoyed the post. Cheers Anna
    .-= Anna Johnston´s last blog ..YES CHEF =-.

  3. What a great cause!

    It looks like your event went extremely well and without a glitch. Yup, family is great! :)
    .-= Shelle´s last blog ..Kid’s Bathroom Reno – Day 5 – NEWS – no progress =-.

  4. I think that you did a wonderful job. I look forward to learning more about The Protectors, it sounds like a wonderful group. Thank you for sharing this :)
    .-= Tickled Red´s last blog ..Fried Green Tomato BLT =-.

  5. I love to plan/throw parties…small ones make me worry about every little detail, while large ones make me worry about making sure I’ve provided enough fun. They both have their challenges and payoffs!
    .-= the BLAH BLAH BLAHger´s last blog ..Greener Grass =-.

  6. Sandy,
    I have been a frequent lurker on your blog for the past year or so…I just love your message. Imagine my suprise today when I open your blog and there is Jeff, he is my husband’s cousin. Unfortunately we only get to see him and his family about once a year at family reunions but what an amazing thing he is doing to put the spot light on bullying!! I hope as they pass through Portland they will give us a call and come for lunch or dinner. Tell him Christian and Emily say hi, if you see him before the big ride!

    On the note of entertaining, I am mostly a small scale entertainer however a few times a year I get asked to do something large. This year I will be in your next of the woods catering my cousin’s wedding for about 200 people, the largest event I have planned. Yes, I am a little freaked out but I keep telling myself, I think I can, I think I can. Thanks for your blog, I enjoy reading it each day.

  7. I love smaller but if I have the help of my siblings big events are manageable… :0)
    .-= ellen b´s last blog ..Meeting For the First Time… =-.

  8. I have planned some gatherings at church, but always had a team…I much prefer planning simple things at my home!

  9. I like to do occasional big parties. . . something about the big events brings out the organizational part of me that is dormant most of the time! It’s the little dinner parties that are more of a struggle for me. Luckily those are my husband’s specialty. He loves cooking for other people.

    The Protectors sound like a great group! You should be proud of yourself for planning this!
    .-= Richella´s last blog ..English teacher =-.

  10. I’ve never planned an event of that size. I have had to do larger dinner parties that were catered. I will have the opportunity to host one of the international coffees while we’re here and I’m excited about that.
    .-= Tara G.´s last blog ..Guess How Much I Love You? + Blogiversary Giveaway!! =-.

  11. Sandy, what a wonderful event to be a party of and bring to fruition! Congrats! I was an event planner before I had kids and have since planned non-profit autions for the local community – planning a large event is a daunting task – staying organized and not freaking out are key. You make it look fun and easy – love that!

  12. Looks great, Sandy! Your daughter looks so grown-up – she’s beautiful!
    .-= Jessica @ This Blessed Life´s last blog ..Work Your Wallet Wednesday #5 =-.

  13. what a great cause! great job!

    Kim @ http://frostmeblog.blogspot.com
    party inspiration

  14. Wow looks like everyone did such a wonderful job. That is a wonderful cause & I wish them luck with their ride.
    I have defintely a small party planner. The biggest I have hosted was 40 people in my house this past weekend for my daughter First Communion. Went over greatly, even with the rain.
    Love reading your blog.
    .-= Lauri´s last blog ..Random Dozen 4-28-10 =-.

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