Ivybridge Donkey Sanctuary 10 Year Celebration Function 2017
The Ivybridge Donkey Sanctuary was opened in 2007, so this year 2017, we decided to commemorate 10 years with a big celebration. A Committee was formed, of which I was one, and planning started for the big event way back in 2016. First of all the Committee had to decide what sort of celebration it was going to be and we all agreed that it would be a nice meal, with live entertainment and we were hoping for a good turnout of current staff and volunteers and also previous staff, volunteers and anyone who had been involved with the centre during the 10 years.
The next step was the venue and each of the committee members had to research one for us to make a final shortlist of 3. This was quite difficult because at this time we had no idea how many people would attend, we were hoping for about 60 – 80 but didn’t really have a clue. We whittled them all down and when we got to the final 3 visited each one, but it was an easy decision as once we had visited Boringdon Park Golf Club at Plympton we knew that this was the place. Final numbers didn’t matter at this stage, as they had movable walls to make the very large room accommodate however many guests there would be, which was absolutely brilliant. The staff were also most accommodating and nothing was too much trouble and a good deal was done!!!
The next job do to was to sort out the menu with good choices to suit every taste. This was quite difficult as the 10 members of the committee had difficulty in agreeing what the final choices should be, but a decision was finally made.
Over the coming months we had more meetings, although like all Committees the members started dwindling for one reason and another and by the end we were left with just a few. Lots of planning and preparation was done including trying to contact ex members of staff etc and also for each Committee member to try and secure some nice raffle prizes. Then the tickets were offered for sale many months in advance and we were anxious to know how many we would sell. Would we get to 80?
The tickets showed that there would be a welcome drink, 3 course meal, entertainment, raffle, live music from the Sky Walkers Sky Walkers are a fun, versatile and eclectic band from the Tavistock and East Cornwall area in the UK, who play and entertain whilst raising money for charity.
Details of all the entertainment was kept secret as these would be a surprise on the night and we knew that guests would be having a jolly good night for the price.
Each month the ticket numbers rose until our final number of 168 was confirmed, which exceeded our expectation which was absolutely brilliant.
The morning of the “do” the Committee members went to Boringdon Park and to decorate the tables, which had already been laid up by the Golf Club.
Each was numbered and named with one of our donkeys. and a little wooden donkey place name for each guest, which was a nice little quirk!! There was a candelabrum on each table with either blue or maroon candles to match the corporate colours, a list of what each guest had ordered sitting on that particular table (as it was a long time ago when orders were placed).
Balloons were put up around the room and the wonderful raffle prizes that had been donated displayed on a table which included a television, a Brittany Ferries voucher, headphones, vouchers for a Cut and Blow Dry from a couple of Hair Salons including Serenity in Ivybridge and also vouchers for Shellac nails. Also donated was afternoon tea at Lifton Hall Hotel, an Ideapad, a voucher from Jollyes Pet Store and many more, and I do apologise for not mentioning all who donated a prize, but please look at the photos of the raffle prize table where you will be able so see more details.
Once the room had been decorated it was then time for us to go home and get ready ourselves for the evening to come.
We were hoping the weather was going to be kind as we planned to start the evening off with pre dinner drinks served up on the veranda where the view is quite spectacular and overlooks the City of Plymouth and out to Plymouth Sound. Then we would be called for to sit down and that is when the guests would see the beautifully decorated room with the candelabra all now lit.
However all good plans do not come to fruition as just before it was all about to start the heavens opened and down came the torrential rain, so Plan B was put into operation which meant that the drinks were served inside the room which put a little dampner on the evening and it had only just started.
However, once everyone sat down at their tables and the 3 bottles of wine that were on each table were being consumed everything went like clockwork. A Caracaturist and Table Magician, and a female solo vocalist were booked to keep guests entertained in between courses. There was also a photo booth and a power point running through the meal with information about the centre, from the early days when it was built to the present day. It also included our donkeys, past and present and staff and volunteers who have worked at the centre over the last 10 years During the 10 years there have been many events held at the centre and at other locations in the area which was very interesting. There was also be a short video of our current donkeys and their escapades set to music which a few of the younger volunteers and staff put together which was very comical.
Once the meal was over and the raffle tickets had been sold, the Committee members could then sit back and enjoy the evening and we hoped that everyone who attended had a really good night and it will be one to remember and looking forward to the netxt 10 years and the 20th Anniversary.
Boringdon Park Golf Club did us proud and if anyone is looking for a fantastic venue in and around the Plymouth area for that special occasion with good food, lovely staff and all round professional service, then look no further. I would highly recommend it.