Women’s Event Helps Children’s Dreams Come True
November 7th saw the Hilton Garden Inn in Ajax, ON play host to Durham’s Ultimate Women’s Show. The event, created and organized by Christine Sikorski of Pretty & Posh Event Management, was held to help the company fulfill a family’s wish list through the Santa’s Dream program from Dreams & Wishes Children’s Charity, also based in Ajax.
Pretty & Posh organizes “vendor-style trade shows with a family friendly twist.” The business specializes in providing vendors “with a large captive audience while giving the public a variety of activities to enjoy, such as face painting, photo sessions and raffles.” Every trade show they manage will see a portion of the proceeds go to charity. In the past they’ve donated to the SickKids Foundation, the Humane Society of Durham County and W.I.N.G.S. Maternity Home.
Dreams & Wishes seeks to “preserve and create positive childhood memories by fulfilling dreams and wishes made by children and families deemed underprivileged and in need.” The charity places its focus on children who’ve been exposed to homelessness, abandonment, neglect, domestic violence, poverty, sexual and emotional abuse, as well as those who are in the area to take refuge from war torn countries.
The evening featured 20 vendors and the price of admission gave attendees one glass of wine, a pink rose, a swag bag filled with samples and gifts from the vendors in attendance, and one entry for the door prize, which was valued at over $350. There were also light refreshments such as bruschetta on crostini, smoked salmon with capers and cream cheese, vegetable spring rolls, chicken satay, and chocolate covered strawberries.
Entertainment for the night included a fashion show and photos of participants with firefighters. Women could also enter a 50/50 draw and bid in a silent auction for over 15 items with a combined value of more than $1,500. The show raised $350 for Dreams & Wishes.
Sikorski promoted the event by printing 20,000 fliers for insertion into local papers and used social media marketing with Facebook, Kijiji and the Durham Region website. Her two main pieces of event-planning advice are to “always expect to spend more than you think you will, and know that something will always come up that can’t be avoided” so learning to take challenges in stride is very important.