Last weekend Team Twilight South held its Spring Fayre on Sunday at the usual venue le Moulin de l’Eveque in Rivel. After weeks of hard work, heavy snow on the day threatened to disrupt the event – would they even be a ble to go ahead? But Twilight volunteers and their supporters are made of strong stuff! The team raised a massive €2,261.61 for the Twilight Puds! Wow, Debbie and Team, what a fantastic result. Here, we share a few words from Debbie about the event and some great pictures.
Planning and work for the event started some weeks ago but the last week saw it move up a few notches. We set up all the tables in readiness early in the week, boxes of books, DVDs and CDs were put in place and bric a brac started to arrive on the scene. The weather was wonderful, but we were all watching the forecast for the weekend, which instilled feelings of doom into the most enthusiastic of fundraisers. It was going to snow. Would we get to the hall? (I live 45 minutes away and have a steep hill to negotiate along with several ‘hairy’ bends.) Many of our volunteers face a similar journey. And, more to the point, if we did all get to the hall would any customers brave the elements to come to the event?
Saturday afternoon was setting up day. I opened the shutters in the morning to see a blanket of snow covering the garden, cars and just about everything else. With a sinking heart I carried on preparing cakes whilst looking out of the window constantly in case things improved. Amazingly they did and although there were still flurries it looked hopeful, the road was clear so that was a big bonus. Our friend arrived with his van to load up the bric a brac we had been storing and a lot of things for the Twilight stall. I only have room in my car for cakes, so the extra help was hugely appreciated.
I set off after lunch with a car load of cakes knowing there would be another full load to take the next morning, too. The drive was fine, apart from seeing a car in the ditch at one point there were no problems at all. Arriving at the hall I was soon joined by other volunteers, and we all unloaded our cars before dispersing to arrange our various stalls. This time we had drastically limited the number of invited artisans to give more space for ‘our stalls’ — those where all the monies taken go to Twilight. One artisan lady had telephoned to cancel because of the weather, and some had arranged to set up their stalls on Sunday morning.
By the time we left everything was looking good, the clothes had been pressed and hung on rails, there was a brilliant ‘changing room’ in the corner for customers to try on prospective purchases, bric a brac in abundance and great variety adorned stalls, there was costume jewellery beautifully displayed and the Twilight stall had a superb variety of items … clothing, bags, t-towels, notepads and Jeanette’s wonderful hand-crafted items including her amazing dog beds that she had made for us to sell. We had so many, the lovely lady must have worked for weeks to produce them.
The day of the fayre dawns
Back home it was time to fill the last of the Victoria sandwich cakes, pack them into bags and put them all into boxes ready for the off on Sunday morning. As always I was awake at ‘stupid o’clock’ and looked outside anxiously to see what the weather was like. Clear! And no frost! Yay! The cake boxes fitted into the car – just, and I drove very slowly just to ensure their safety and was relieved not to have traffic behind as I would surely have been a hindrance given the speed I was doing. Bends and fragile iced cakes do not mix so caution is needed!
At the hall it was all quiet. The owners live next door to the venue, which is a restaurant with a huge function room that they very kindly allow us to use. I sat for a few minutes in the car thinking about the day to come and hoping that it would be a success. Then it started to snow … only a few flakes at first, which quickly turned into a veritable blizzard. My heart sank and I wondered what I would do with all those cakes that I would have to take home when no one came….
The owner arrived and as he did it stopped snowing so hard. We looked at each other and he said, “it’s not supposed to do this today”. With his help I carried my boxes of cakes inside and put them on the stall, it was looking pretty crowded by now and there were extras under the tables. Then I had a walk around to admire everything as usually there is no time once things get going to do that. We had some great things to sell and, of course, I just had to be tempted by some of them…
Full fundraising steam ahead
People began arriving, it was the usual happy time of greeting old friends, commenting on the weather and meeting a couple of new artisans who I hadn’t seen before. Soon everything was in place and it wasn’t a moment too early because although we advertised the Fayre as opening at 10am we had customers by 9.20. One lady said that she had seen pictures on Facebook the previous evening and knew she had to be there early to get what she wanted!
It seemed very quiet at first, I didn’t think there were many people at all (we usually get a rush just after 10am) and I was feeling a bit despondent but then whoosh — people just appeared and kept coming. It was lovely to see loyal supporters who have been coming to our events from the start and good to see so many new faces, too. My only regret is that there is not enough time to chat to people properly as I am too busy serving cakes. However, I did see lots of people going past clutching purchases and it was clear that the doggy beds were extremely popular. The raffle had a constant stream of people buying tickets and the bottle stall where every ticket bought guaranteed a prize was busy although I did wonder whether those who won a bottle of water or suchlike were quite as impressed as those who got the gin!
Clearing up once we had finished went very smoothly, we helped fold clothes and put hangars into bags and boxes, poor Nickie will have the unenviable task of untangling them at home. Sorry Nickie! Once I got home and after unloading the car, which didn’t take long as luckily almost all the cakes had sold, it was time to count the takings. I always count twice and have piles of money and pieces of paper all around me. This time I had to count again as I couldn’t believe what I was seeing — 2,261.61 euros to be exact. Wow, wow, how could that have happened? It was due to our wonderful supporters who came and who spent so freely and generously, to someone who gave a donation in memory of their dog and to those who bought things they possibly didn’t need but who wanted to help the Twilight puddings. Thank you to each and every supporter, without you our fundraising wouldn’t happen, we are indebted to you all.
What a success! Thank you everyone
A HUGE Thank You to the team members who have worked so very hard to put on the event, collecting bric a brac, clothing, bottles and anything that we could put on a stall to raise money. Raffle prizes were generously donated and more given on the day so that we are in the fortunate position of having a stick for future events. Each and every team member worked all day with huge smiles on their faces. The overriding comment about the event was what a lovely, friendly atmosphere there was and that is so nice to hear. And, a special thanks to Nickie and Cheryl who have been instrumental in organising the event. It is an absolute privilege to be able to raise money for Twilight, a cause that I am passionate about and I am extremely fortunate to be part of a great team who share the desire to help with me. It is time for a rest now and then we will start working towards the next event — a vide grenier in July.
The final word goes to Mummy Twilight
Team Twilight South … what an absolutely amazing time it sounds to have been on Sunday, and my goodness, what a mighty total the team made for the Puddings. Debbie, we cannot thank you and your team enough. So much work in preparing for fayres, then the day, and then the tidying up … it is an immense undertaking. Bless you all for caring so much, the difference you have made is incredible. Mike, I and each and every pudding thank you from our hearts xxx