Upon awakening every morning, I have a routine that includes taking deep breaths, updating facebook, stretching, and counting my lucky stars… occasionally I check twitter too...all before getting out of bed.
The counting lucky stars part is so that no matter what the day holds for me, I will remember that I woke up being able to count the many positive elements in my life… because I have been blessed with that option, I have to find ways to pass it on to others. I am not sure where I get the crazy motivation to take on some of the challenges… like baking 300 cookies for a family day benefitting TFT...or asking all of my friends, family, clients, and strangers to not only help me bake those cookies, but to come eat, drink, be merry, AND bring me toys… but I tell you what… I KNOW I will forever wake-up counting lucky stars and being grateful for this little borrowed life of mine. I live everyday hoping to give as much back as I am getting from it.
For those of you who don’t know, last year I started Giggle & Mingle, which is a Toy Drive disguised as a party for anyone and everyone who wants to help Swann Soirées support the Toys for Tots Foundation, be it colleagues, clients, neighbors, friends, all of the above. For the cover charge of a new, unwrapped toy, you got cheap eats, good drinks (like the $1 Brenda’s, an exclusive cocktail only found at the PL Sports Grill & Pub), and the chance to hang out with not only awesome peeps, but with some pretty dapper men & women in uniform too. This year’s Giggle & Mingle was an absolute hit! We collected over 255 toys in ONE night! Good ones too! Nothing beats the thought of a kid opening up a big ol’ Buzz Lightyear action figure or a talking Storm Trooper mask on Christmas morning. Makes my heart melt! This year we had many of our clients join us… it brought tears to my heart seeing our newly-wed couples AND their bridal parties showing so much support with their presence (and presents!). Adding something nice to all the sugar & spice, is having a team of five, which means that many more beautiful faces to host everyone that came out! The Swann Squad (Megan, Sherry, Interns Ania & Jess) were absolutely essential to the success of the night. It was so incredible I am getting goose bumps typing it out…
The giggling was aplenty and the mingling was heavy… there’s was tons of fabulous door prizes too, among them dinner at The Pearl Hotel, gift cards to Target, iTunes, and Best Buy, music by Mike Thomas of Higher Level Sound, and the always-a-hit photobooth by After the Engagement. Special Shout-Out goes out to Victoria from Theory Weddings & Events for designing the Giggle & Mingle 2010 invite.
THANK YOU ALL so very much for coming out, donating toys, bringing your friends, and most of all for being my lucky stars.
much love to all of you!
Seriously!!?? I have no idea how a girl gets so dang lucky to have so many awesome people around her… yes I am speaking in the third person I know 😛 I can’t help being in awe and thanking every lucky star in the sky above me for all the positivity and energy that fuels me to thrive as I do.
During my First Annual (because yes, I will be doing this again) Giggle & Mingle Toys for Tots Drive, I felt the love! There will be some happy, giggly, smiley faces at Christmas time this year for sure, all because of the incredibly supportive folks who came out to mingle with me.
Huge SHOUT OUTS to the people who made it all happen:
First of all, Joe & Ronny over at PL Sports Bar & Grill for donating the venue & coming up with some yummy specials for the night. My handsome sailor husband, Dayton, for donating the door prizes & always encouraging me to do my thang, my dear friends & studio mates Melissa McClure & Cathy Olson for donating the grand prizes. Melanie Montoya for the awesome invitation design, Bill Calhoun for his music & MC Skills, along with DJ Dave who played some awesome live music. Designer Kit Frye of Fiveloaves Twofish Clothing for the beautiful, custom dress & headpiece that got me compliments all night! My brother, Ludick Kepler Photography, along with Jordan & Gia from Absolute Kelvin Photography for providing the paparazzi coverage all night. You can visit the Swann Soirées Facebook Fan page (become a fan!) to browse the many pictures, AND visit the Giggle & Mingle Gallery Jordan posted too! Another Shout Out also to my friends over at Foto Cabina for providing the photobooth & props for everyone to enjoy, it was a hit! We must not forget, especially on this Veteran’s Day, The Marine Corps, for sending me some uniformed fellas who not only selflessly service our country, but also were good sports about all the pictures, dancing, and shenanigans an all-night happy hour brings! Who else was going to carry away the FIVE heavy TOY-FILLED boxes though??!! Lastly, my incredible “wing girl” and assistant, Kristy Eagle, for being a fabulous co-host. Much Much LOVE to all of you.
Even more love to ALL who showed up with toys, money, and enthusiasm. I am on such a happy-happy joy-joy high right now I am typing away bewildered on how I got to be so blessed by the awesomeness of people around me. Makes me want to sing and dance! I wanna put on…. my my my my my boogie shoes!
I will be collecting Toys & Monetary Donations until December 10, 2009 @ the Cerimone Studio. You can stop by on any weekday from 10am-4pm, including during our next open house, December 4th until 8pm, you may also mail-in check donations made out to TOYS FOR TOTS to the studio, click here for our address.
I am being asked to have another Giggle & Mingle next month, so I’ll update you on that if it happens. If you would like to sign up to be a recipient of the Toys collected by the many incredible volunteers this season, contact Toys for Tots directly here.
KissKissHug to all of you again. MERCI! GRACIAS! THANK YOU!!
That’s right! Swann Soirées has partnered up with Toys for Tots to help collect toys for families in need for the 2009 Holiday Season.
Cerimone Studio is now an OFFICIAL San Diego drop-off location! Woot!! I am so excited at the opportunity to help bring some happiness into the lives of the benefiting kids & families.
Toys for Tots started in 1947, it originated as an idea from a Marine’s wife named Diane who hand-crafted a doll & wanted to donate it to a child in need- turns out there was no organization that did that sort of thing, so her husband created one. NICE! Just the way I’d do it!
Many of you are probably familiar with the organization, for they really put a countless amount of effort to raise money and collect toys throughout the year. Besides, who can really miss the dashing Marines, dressed in what I think are the best uniforms of the Armed Services, standing tall at the drop-off locations these last three months of the year? Lures me into going to buy a toy just so I have an excuse for my staring! Don’t worry, Dayton already knows I love the Marine uniforms more than the Navy ones… no need to gasp…hee hee. Nothing beats a man (or woman) in uniform! Toys collected will be distributed to families & non-profit organizations throughout the country in December just in time for Christmas morning (hence why efforts & collection drives start “early”).
Alright, so the details: I’ll be collecting new, unwrapped toys AND checks (made out to the Toys for Tots Foundation) starting October 2nd, between 5-8pm at the Cerimone Studio during “Friday Night Liberty”– a monthly Open House event at NTC Liberty Station. You can also drop off any toy or check donations at Cerimone between 9:00a – 4:30p M-Th, Friday, Saturday & Sunday hours will vary, but I will be updating Facebook & Twitter with those times. You can also mail donation checks to the Cerimone Studio.
Please know that this may be the ONLY toy a child could get on Christmas morning, your love & attention at selecting a gift is very much appreciated, in other words… Make it good! Also, due to potential health risks from allergens, no stuffed toys.
XXO!! THANK YOU SOOOO VERY VERY MUCH!!!
Cerimone Toy Drop Off Info:
Friday Night Liberty Dates are as follows:
Nov. 6 & Dec. 4 5:00-8:00 pm.
Toys will be collected until December 10th.
P.S. Fellow Wedding Pros… if you want to get involved with Toys for Tots by donating your services, please contact me! All kinds of help is needed & greatly appreciated! xxo!!