I’m not kidding. I was one of about a dozen other volunteers who did it last weekend. “Happily Ever After” was the name of the event. Its purpose was to provide a day of encouragement, inspiration and empowerment for people considering divorce, getting divorced or already divorced. There were prizes, auction items and goodies for attendees, too. Lots of them, some valued in the thousands of dollars.
The sponsors were impressive. The list of speakers read like a “who’s who” list of top women in their areas of expertise (both locally and nationally). Classes were extremely interesting and informative There were close to fifty vendors, all offering products and services to make life easier, healthier or more fun. As volunteers, it was not our qualifications or expertise that mattered. Our focus was on assisting with pre-planning details and ensuring that the event ran smoothly.
Pre-planning activity had taken months. Divorced and Fabulous Cindy and I jumped in on the tail end of this phase, helping to stuff “goodie bags” that would go to each guest. On the day of the event, all volunteers wore feather boas to signify our status as “helper” and comfortable shoes to travel from one end of the Minneapolis Marriot West to the other. We registered guests, directed vendors and introduced speakers. We completed other tasks and supportive hosting, too.
For our efforts, we got to attend the event without paying the seventy-five dollar entry fee. We were treated to a lovely lunch served on white-linen covered tables, and a cocktail hour after the event ended. We received “thank-you” gifts from Christine Clifford, who organized the event with a percentage of the proceeds going to Tubman. We had time to visit the different vendor booths. And we got to be encouraged, inspired and empowered same as the paying guests did with power-house learning from accomplished professionals.
I also received a lot in terms of contribution and camaraderie. Helping others always makes me feel good. Becoming acquainted with ladies who also like to help others made the day even better! Thanks, Christine, for letting me be included in your stellar event! Joelle, Cindy, Jessie, Michelle, Susan, Paula, Lori, Heidi, Amber, Susan G., Linda, Karen, Mary, Mel and Lauren (and anyone else I might have forgotten to mention) – I’m so glad to have worked and shared with you!
Vendors I especially loved were Start To Downsize, Aihu, The Healing Loft, SendOutCards, The Smitten Kitten, and Slims Boot Wraps. Be sure to check out their websites when you have a few minutes for their fabulous products and services!
Inside the Marriot, at the end of a hall, is Kip’s. Entering this eatery from the hotel side is like stepping out of the modern world and into a Public House of long ago. It has all the hallmarks one might expect of an Irish Pub – wood floors and large wooden beams, shining beer taps and cozy round tables, lighted glass shelves displaying shiny liquor bottles. At night it is especially charismatic.
Kip’s menu is fun. Even the drink menu is reminiscent of the Emerald Isle! While Kip’s signature dish is the Chicken Pepper Jack Boxty, I opted for the Irish Spring Roll appetizer. Susan tried the crab cake. They were both yummy, of course!
For whatever reason (either because the jerseys are green or because Wisconsin Football Fans are so passionate), Kip’s favors “Packer Backers”. If you come in to watch a Packer game on one of their seven tv screens and wear your Packer jersey, they’ll give you a free Budweiser. Also, you can have your own Happy Hour anytime by bringing in your own “wooden nickel”.
So there you have it – a new place and thing by volunteering at “Happily Ever After”, and a new eatery experience at Kip’s Authentic Irish Pub. Life is fun when you’re Divorced and Fabulous, yes!
What new places, things or eateries have you experienced lately? Have you ever volunteered? Please share by commenting – I’d love to hear it!