Many people wear jeans daily, making denim an unlikely source of inspiration. However, the sturdy fabric was the foundation for Quota International of Tulsa’s wildly successful Brunch and Book Review fund-raiser this year. Members of this Oklahoma, U.S.A., club chose to review the 1959 novel Grandma Wears Blue Jeans, and soon the entire event became a denim-infused day. Mary Helen Stanley, who shared the book with the audience, was decked out in jeans with her hair up in a scarf and rubber gloves on her hands. Meanwhile, the tablecloths were blue-and-white checked, blue jeans adorned bud vases and centerpieces, and attendees wore dungarees and fancy shirts.
The denim craze caught on long before the big day. The club’s fund-raising committee began meeting monthly to prepare for the event, and when they shared their plans, other members were so interested that they started attending the monthly committee meetings to help as well. The club also involved a local school whose event planning class made centerpieces and programs and provided assistance with the silent auction.
Working together, the club and the class donned their denim and put on a fabulous event. Tickets were sold for U.S.$25, and attendees enjoyed not only Mary Helen’s presentation, but also brunch, candle and centerpiece giveaways, and a silent auction that featured items the club assembled in themed baskets. By the time the day was over, the club had raised U.S.$5,700, which they will use to help children who need hearing aids.
Current club treasurer Tricia Gomez said that the involvement of all club members was essential: “The key ingredient to any successful fund-raiser is getting the entire organization to buy into the event before it even starts.” However, she also acknowledged that cooperation means not only involving others but also supporting them along the way. The club gave its members ideas for silent auction items and suggestions for soliciting donations. This approach made the fund-raiser a success…and made denim anything but dull.