Interview with Pam Bancroft
Event Planner for the “Black, White and Candlelight” Dinner and Dance
G2K: Please tell us about the International Women’s Club Kiev charity fundraiser.
PB: IWCK held its second biggest fundraiser on Saturday, April 12th which was a lovely evening for all members, guests and sponsors. The 200 seat event was sold out, which pleased me enormously. The purchased ticket offered a fine 3-course dinner in the Hyatt Hotel ballroom, with entertainment and lots of dancing throughout the evening. “Rendezvous”, the live musical group, played 60’s, 70’s and 80’s dance music. Most importantly, IWCK’s charitable program is very well-respected in the Kiev community and I found it to be very gratifying to have the community respond so enthusiastically in ticket sales and sponsorship. Over $48,000 was raised which went towards the 2008 – 2009 charity programs which support older persons, people with disabilities, children and women.
G2K: What were some of the award prizes?
PB: The Black, White and Candlelight Prizes were divided into three categories. The Live Auction allowed the gala attendees to bid on a variety of valuable and unique prizes. The highest bid, over $5,000, went to the cover of What’s On Magazine. Some of the other highly contested bids were a Jaguar XJ automobile for one night and dinner for two as well as several roundtrip airline tickets for travel to Istanbul, Paris, and Amsterdam. Perhaps, the most anticipated prizes were a singing telegram performance by Carma Ryan in which she serenaded her husband to the jazzy tune of “Hey Big Spender” and a belly dancing performance performed by Marzia Schiedlechner. Some of the Silent Auction prizes included a 12-course Italian meal with wine for eight people in the home of Anna Vicentini; four tailor-made shirts from the Imperial Tailoring Company, Style and Shop Image and Personal Shopping Services; and many beautiful paintings from local artists. There were many, many Raffle Prizes awarded; such as, gift certificates and merchandise from Colin’s jeans wear; voucher entrances to Aqua Zone Spa, Porcelain Dental Services as well as many embassy gift baskets. I was overjoyed with the response from the business community and the IWCK members who donated such interesting and valuable prize donations.
GO2KIEV: How difficult was it to organize such an event?
PB: The answer depended upon each hour within a certain day! I think the most difficult part was debating the event’s theme. We asked IWCK members to participate in a survey and to choose between 3 formats. The themes considered were Arabian Nights, Evening with the Stars, or Black, White and Candlelight. Our members almost unanimously choose this year’s event because they wanted live music with lots of dancing.
GO2KIEV: Do you have previous experience in event-planning?
PB: When my husband and I moved to Latvia, I had an opportunity to become the Executive Director of the Latvian American Chamber of Commerce. One of the most successful events was the monthly Student Business Plan Seminar luncheons where university students learned how to formulate and compose business plans and how to sell their ideas. The monthly seminar programs concluded with an evening ceremony where the prizes awarded where of cash donations and internships within the business community. On that particular evening at close to midnight there were several AMCHAM business leaders who reached into their wallets and donated estimated 50% additional cash on the spot. I was thrilled with the act of spontaneous generosity of these business people and their sincere desire to assist and encourage young people in the business sphere.
GO2KIEV: Do you plan to become a future event planner for Kiev business or charity organizations?
PB: Now, I feel that I can better serve the community by using my Journalism degree and former professional experiences in the areas of editing and writing of English language texts for a corporation, school, magazine or small business.