Monday, June 30, 2014

Zac Brown Band at Fenway Park

On Saturday night I went to the Zac Brown Band concert at Fenway Park.  This is my third time seeing a concert at Fenway - I saw Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert last summer and Dave Matthews Band several years ago.  Our seats this time were in a section I've never sat in before and they turned out to be great.  You'll see our view in the photos below.

Pre-concert selfies!  This is what you do when you are waiting for your friends to arrive.  Every bar was packed and the majority had long lines.  So I ended up going into Bill's Bar on Lansdowne Street (since there was no line).  I had never been there before but it ended up being find even though they didn't have Sam Summer or Summer Shandy!  Emily arrived a few minutes after me and unfortunately Kate got stuck waiting in a line.  But we did make friends with two girls who had a table and joined them so we got lucky with that!



The new Country Radio Station in Boston - 101.7 The Bull was giving out these cute posters.  Emily and Kate made fun of me for taking them but then of course ended up liking them!  Haha!




Our seats were great! The weather was beautiful.  When ZBB FINALLY came on an hour after they were suppose to we were very excited!  There was no opening act and the night before they went on right at 6:30 so not sure why they didn't come on until 7:30 on Saturday night.  We even got in there early so we had a lot of time to chat drink.  Oh and speaking of drinking, why is it that Fenway raises the beer prices for concerts?  Beer is expensive enough on game days but $10 bucks for a Bud Light during a concert?!  Crazy!!!


I didn't participate in the Fireball. . . I'm old and just drinking a few beers and staying up until midnight is enough to do me in the entire next day.  So I've learned not to make things worse by mixing my drinks!  Oh and if you are wondering if Fenway sells Fireball now. . . the answer would be no.  Wondering how to get Fireball into Fenway?  Talk to Emily (she's a genius)!



There was the most beautiful sunset and I had to run to the area behind us to take a few photos.  The sky was just so pretty which wasn't surprising after the gorgeous day/night we had on Saturday!

It was a great concert.  They sang several cover songs, most of their popular stuff and even some of their stuff that I didn't know.  They gave a little girl in the audience a signed guitar and had military come up on stage during one song which was pretty nice.  All and all a great time. 

Have you seen Zac Brown Band in concert?  What did you think?
















Sunday, June 29, 2014

Banner Review

You may have noticed the adorable banner in several of the photos at my Whiskey Tasting Fundraiser for MS.  If you missed my recap of the event feel free to check it out here first.  I'll wait! ;)

I was given the opportunity to make a banner for free with EasyBanners.com and the offer couldn't have come at a better time!  I knew I wanted to make a custom banner for my event but wasn't sure where to start.  EasyBanners.com was so simple to use and I designed my banner quickly and easily!

Sorry about the glare on the banner.  I forgot to take another photo later in the event when the sun went away!  The quality of the banner is great.  It is thick and sturdy vinyl with pre-cut holes/metal braces in each corner.  I ordered the 2x4 feet size which is plenty big and worked great for my purposes.  It fit great between the two pillars in the bar right when you walk in the entrance.  It was the first thing everyone saw and then they knew they were in the right place!
 
Using the EasyBanners.com website to design the banner was simple.  The hardest part was coming up with the wording.  I knew I wanted to use The Bean Team logo and the Irish Whiskey Society of American logo so I put those on first.  Then I had to figure out something creative to say. . . I finally came up with "Raising money for MS one sip at a time. . ." and added the "Slainte" at the bottom which is the Gaelic word used for "cheers" but literally means health.  Because who doesn't want to drink to good health?!?  Haha!

The only thing I needed help with was getting the little accent mark over the "a" so I emailed the team and asked them for help.  They actually just went into my banner and put the accent on it and I was fine with that.  It made it easy for me since I didn't have to figure it out!

This banner retails for about $30 which I think it a great price considering I used four colors and the quality was excellent.  I will definitely use EasyBanners.com again for future events.

As mentioned above I received this banner for free in return of an honest review.  All opinions are my own and believe me if I didn't like the banner I would not have used it at my event!!




Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Whiskey Tasting Fundraiser For MS (Recap)

On Sunday night The Bean Team had a Whiskey Tasting Fundraiser for MS with the Irish Whiskey Society at Lower Mills Pub.  Personally I am not a fan of whiskey but I am a fan of creative and unique fundraisers and I think this is something new and different.  Plus I may be related to the VP of the IWS so I had an in!  My brother Allan was all for partnering with The Bean Team for this event and we threw the whole thing together with the help of a few others. . .

I made this banner on easybanners.com and I am in LOVE with the way it came out.  I'll have a full review coming in a separate post soon.



I made these two DIY garlands.  The one on top with the beans and shamrocks was super easy to put together after my coworker used her special cutting machine to make the shapes.  I just had to string them together.  Then at the last minute I decided I needed a tissue paper garland and it was my first time making one.  It was SO easy and quick.  I went on pinterest and read a couple of posts on how to make them and then did it.  I can't wait to make another one!

The food spread was excellent thanks to the generosity of a few local stores.  The new Wegmans in Chestnut Hill donated a $100 gift card and I was able to get all of the sandwiches and veggie tray there.  The Whole Foods in Brighton donated a $100 gift card and I was able to get the macaroni salad, potato salad, cole slaw and fruit salad.  Big Y in Franklin donated a $25 gift card and my mom picked up the chips, pretzels and pickles.  My mom also made deviled eggs (not pictured) and I made chocolate chip cookies and brownies for dessert.  My aunt made Irish Whiskey cake for dessert too because you can't have a whiskey tasting without a whiskey dessert!

Everyone gave two thumbs up for all of the food.  Everything was delicious and the majority of the food was gone by the end of the event.  Food can get very expensive when hosting fundraisers so when you can get the majority of it donated it makes a BIG difference.  I'm so thankful to these stores who donated so I could keep the costs down for this event.



After everyone ate it was time to taste the whiskey.  Each person got a "map" with six whiskeys on it and a "key" that had the names of the whiskeys and room for notes.  The 6 whiskeys tasted were:
1.  Tyrconnel single malt (Irish)
2.  Jefferson's Single Barrel Very small batch (Bourbon) (made exclusively for NH liquor stores)
3.  Powers Signature (green box) Single Pot Still (Irish)
4.  Auchentoshan single malt (Scotch)
5.  Green Spot single pot still (Irish)
6.  Teeling's Single grain (Irish) (currently only available in Ireland)

As you can see from the above photo not everyone loved all the whiskeys!  Luckily everyone had fun despite this and could still enjoy a beer from the bar!



Rich, the President of the IWS, led the tasting and provided great information and history about whiskey.  He also had a quiz just for fun to see who knew the most about whiskey.  Rich did a great job leading the tasting despite a lot of chatty tasters.  Everyone was having fun and may not have been listening as well as they should have.  Drinking whiskey = chatty tasters!  Photos of most of them below.  See for yourself. . . they all look innocent but believe me they were drinking, talking, laughing and enjoying the USA World Cup game. . . all while raising money for MS. . . win, win!








Chris is responsible for the "key" I posted above.  He is not a big fan of whiskey and his comments gave us all a good laugh!  He is a great sport!


The lovely lady in the middle is pregnant and was not tasting the whiskey!  She was just there for moral support!  My friends Missy and Emily were tasting and had plenty of extra.



My parents are always so supportive of everything I do including these fundraisers.  My mom was a huge help with picking up some supplies, making the raffle bag labels, loading and unloading the car, making the deviled eggs and more.  So thankful for all of their help (especially since neither of them even like whiskey)!

After the tasting part of the event we all just hung out and mingled while watching the rest of the USA World Cup game.  None of us could believe our eyes when Portugal tied the game with only seconds left.  So disappointing!

Luckily we still had raffle prizes to look forward to and I was able to make several people happy by choosing them as winners of these GREAT prizes!

Bright Cellars donated 3 bottles of wine and I donated this 8 pack of Guinness with a custom pint glass that had "Proud Sponsor of The Bean Team" on it.

My aunt Cathy put together this amazing "Irish Basket" filled with things she bought while she was in Ireland last month.  It had a bottle of Jameson and a bottle of Coole Swan Irish Cream as well as a ton of other stuff.  It was worth over $200 bucks and the guy who won, James, was pretty happy!
Thank you Cathy for donating this basket.  There were a lot of raffle tickets in that bag so definitely a big hit!

Sound Bites in Somerville donated a gift card, mug and shirt, Scrubadub donated car washes and Tavern In The Square donated a $50 gift card.  I had received the Patriots' museum tickets and massage gift card somewhere along the way and finally included them in a raffle at this event!

My Grandma's of New England donated enough coffee cake for two winners to each take home three delicious cakes!

Sam Adams has donated to me a couple of times now and they are always so generous.  They donated 3 cases of beer and my uncle was the lucky winner of this prize.  He went home happy!

The Keurig was probably the most popular item of the night.  The bag was filled with the most raffle tickets and the winner was very happy to be taking this home.  Thank you to Keurig for donating 4 of these to me to use at our events!  They have really helped us to sell more raffle tickets so I'm so appreciative of this donation.

 Some of the happy winners!!!

I also want to give a big THANK YOU  to the Lower Mills Pub.  This is the second event we have done there. We did the Trivia Fundraiser for MS back in March and the location and staff were so great we decided to work with them again.  They donated the space for both events which was a huge help.  These flags are hanging on the walls in the pub and I thought they were perfect for our event!

I also can't forget the IWS.  Without them this event would not have been possible.  Not only did they donate ALL of the whiskey but they came up with the theme and provided all of the other supplies needed.  Of course they also led the tasting and taught everyone there something new about whiskey!

This event was so much fun!  I never expected to have such a good time at a whiskey tasting since I don't even like whiskey.  But you get good people together for a good cause and a great time is sure to be had.  Everyone there was so generous and bought a lot of raffle tickets including the bar tenders and some of the locals who were hanging out on the other side of the pub!

I know you are all wondering how much we raised right?!?!?!?  Well I won't keep you in suspense any longer.  We far exceeded my expectations and raised. . .








$1,070!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Can you believe it?  Amazing right!?  This was after expenses and as I mentioned above our expenses for this event were very low since most everything was donated.  I only had to buy the paper products and balloons and even Party City gave me a 20% discount.  

I'm also happy to share that both the Irish Whiskey Society and the Lower Mills Pub are official Bean Team "Faith" sponsors and their logos will be on our shirts one day of the MS Challenge Walk!  If your business is interested in being a sponsor please contact me for more details.

I have a confession to make. . . I'm both extremely tired of organizing/planning fundraisers and strangely addicted to organizing/planning them all at the same time.  Is that even possible?  I feel like fundraising is a full time job and the majority of my free time has been devoted to fundraising for months.  I'm ready for a rest but I also love the thrill of seeing that final amount and knowing all of the hard work paid off.  It is amazing how much you can raise when a group of committed, generous people come together.  Thank you again to all of the businesses who donated and to all of the friends and family who attended.  That amount above would not be possible without you!




Are you on Facebook?  Please go like The Bean Team to keep up to date with our fundraisers!  You can also like the IWS and Lower Mills Pub!