Wednesday, May 30, 2012

2nd Annual Afternoon Tea Fundraiser (2011)

Warning!  Photo-heavy post ahead...

This weekend, my sister, Liz, and her daughter, Sarah, are hosting their annual tea fundraiser, Miss Lizzy's Tea, with proceeds to once again benefit the Patient Assistance Fund at the Windsor and Essex County Cancer Centre Foundation.  (You can read more about my sister's story here)

ETA:  Just heard from my sister and she said the photographer took over 300 photos!  Will share this year's tea party photos when I get copies!

Last year was such a huge success that guests were calling just days after the tea, inquiring about tickets for this year!  I haven't had a chance to blog about last year's yet, and with this year's looming, I thought I'd better get moving!

We had a committee of about 15 ladies and they all worked really hard to help Liz and Sarah pull off a beautiful event.

We arrived at the pavilion at 8am to start setting up.  To say I was surprised was an understatement.  Everything looked so... blah.  I had my doubts that we could transform this into the "garden party" atmosphere for which we were hoping...

But then we started covering the tables with tablecloths, and the chair covers and sashes, so generously provided by First Impressions in Belle River.  And I could see the possibilities...

Hand-tying the bows was a huge undertaking!  Christine showed up how to drape the sashes with a simple knot (which would have been so much easier!) but we liked the "girliness" of the bows.  Here, a friend from one of Liz's exercise classes helps me "tie one on"! :)

Here's a finished view one they were all done - we didn't have enough sashes for each chair, so we alternated:

As we draped the chairs and tied the sashes, other volunteers set each place setting (all 200 of them).  Liz received tea cup donations all year and had enough for each place setting - and surprisingly, there were no duplicates!  The challenge became in matching tea cup to saucer! LOL!  Here, Sarah places a teacup at one of the tables:

I designed menus for the tables, listing the flavours of teas available, as well as a buffet menu.  I also created table numbers, as there was assigned seating.

One of the committee members, Sherri, designed beautiful centrepieces for each table, built out of - you guessed it - teacups!  They were beautiful!

Using leftover blossoms, we added brightly coloured ribbon and greens to create the silverware bundles to lay at each place setting.

Each ticket was entered as a ballot for one of the door prizes that were generously donated by local vendors.

All of the greenery was donated by Williams Nurseries, in Leamington.  Liz's cousin, Mary, who has an incredible knack for decorating events, used them to decorate the stage:

The entrance:

Even outside!

She also set up a small bistro set in the corner, with a silver tea service and beautiful trees behind.  No detail was overlooked!

People were so generous in donating prizes for the raffle draw.  Gift baskets, jewelry, original paintings, gift certificates... It ran the entire width of the pavilion.

Because it was fashioned after an elegant tea party, there were finger sandwiches and sweets, along with handmade scones, served with devon cream and an assortment of jams.  The display alone was mouthwatering!

And if you think that getting fancied up and feasting on all that wasn't enough, hold on to your panties... because the tea was served by our handsome hubbies and sons, all decked out in their finest.  Talk about pampering!

It was so wonderful to see everyone show up in their finest hats and fascinators!

Liz and Sarah got up to say a few words of thanks - don't you love their outfits!

And of course, it wouldn't be an event if Liz's husband, Gino didn't have some kind of surprise (remind me to tell you about Borat and the belly dancers at Liz's surprise 50th party...)

He arranged for the "Queen" to visit our proper English tea!  So much fun...

All in all, everyone enjoyed themselves and we surpassed our wildest goals by raising over $12,000 for the Patient Assistance Fund of the Windsor Essex-County Cancer Centre!!  Thanks so much (belatedly!) for everyone who participated and donated generously.

If you are local to Windsor or Essex County and would like to attend Miss Lizzy's Tea this year, we have a limited number of tickets available. You can read more about it here on the Miss Lizzy's Tea blog.  If you are unable to attend and would like to make a donation, please contact me.  Tax receipts will be issued for amounts over $20.00.

Can't wait to share this year's photos - and hopefully it won't take me a year to get them posted!


  1. This sounds like an amazing day, a wonderful fundraiser, and a lovely tea event. If you don't mind, I'm going to blog a little about it on the Steeped Tea blog and send readers your way!

  2. Thanks Sue for the beautiful pictures that you took. They turned out great. What a beautiful way to spend a Sunday afternoon with family and friends sipping on tea.

  3. Sue, what a wonderful event. So many gorgeous details. SO. Many. Congrats! THat is my kind of event!


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