I've set up a poll on CHERUBS web Site. Our members need to decide on the 2008 Member Conference, but we also need to take into consideration the fundraisers that will be paying for this conference.
We are planning an Angel Ball and Golf Tournament for the weekend of July 26-27 in North Carolina. I just found a place today and whew! It was hard to find a place that we could afford that is nice - we want to raise funds at a fundraisers not spend it all on the event itself. But we found a great place!!! Smile
The Angel Ball will be a formal affair held at Duke Gardens. They are holding the last Saturday in 2008 for us that hasn't been booked yet and are giving us an incredible price, which sponsors will cover. The garden is just gorgeous, it is absolutely fairy tale beautiful. We can have the conference hall, which is great in case it rains. The conference hall comes with a beautiful lily pond right outside with a formal oriental type garden and we'd have to get a couple of tents too because the hall only holds 150 people and I'm planning to sell about 400 tickets. The English Gardens can be toured until dark (9:00 that time of year) and will make for awesome photos. I'm still begging to be able to have the ball there, we'll see what I can pull off. Wink We'll also have a silent auction with donations from artists (we have 2 pieces already). Durham / Raleigh / Chapel Hill has a huge artist community, so we should be able to pull that off. Attire will be black tie, with an emphasis on "white" and women will be encouraged to pull out their old wedding dresses and wear them again. We have several wedding service vendors who have already volunteer their time and services and we're hoping to really play up the whole wedding dress thing as that will sell more tickets. Of course all CHERUBS members are encouraged to attend! Smile You can see Duke hospital from the Gardens so there is as top hospital here, plus tons of hotels and I'm 90% certain we can get a group of nurses to watch any cherubs for a few hours that night - I know a ton of nurses who work at Duke that I might be able to beg to volunteer for us. Plus, UNC is just up the road too in Chapel Hill. During the day, before the ball, the gardens is a wonderful place to take the kids to walk around, feed the ducks and picnic. Maybe we can have an informal member picnic that day, though I don't know how much time I'll have to attend because I'll be swamped with the Ball arrangements.
Golf Tournament on Sunday. Actually, the golf tournament will be in Wake Forest, which is north of Raleigh, about 40 minutes from Durham with the traffic. There are a couple of golf pros who live in the area so I'm going to see if we can get them in the tournament. Craig is good friends with one of them but I don't think he'll be able to attend that weekend as it's in the middle of PGA tour season, but I will certainly beg him to try to come. Smile We will definitely have 1 former pro in attendance, but he was on the tour many years ago and only for a couple of years so his name isn't very well known.
Now, all that info is there for that weekend and the money raised will go to the Conference. BUT a lot of parents have requested that we hold the conference at the same time because they want to attend these events as well. If we do that, we can easily book a conference place here and hold it on Friday or Monday as an all day conference (we'll make sure the kids are entertained). All extra money not used will go to 2009's Member Conference. Honestly, I really like this idea, it sure would make it easier to plan and it would be a lot cheaper to do it all at once and would be awesome to already have a lot of money needed for 2009 already. If we have the conference elsewhere it will have to be in August because we'll need the money from the fundraisers and they won't be until late July.
So here are our options:
1. Durham/Raleigh, NC - Angel Ball, Golf Tournament and Conference all in one. We can get a surgeon from Duke or UNC to guest speak. Upside - we save a lot of money and can afford to better go to the one of the following 3 places next year. Downside - this area isn't the greatest tourist location, though we do have an international airport.
2. Orlando, FL - Disney World area, a favorite for everyone, we had an absolute blast and very successful 2000 conference there. We'll have to find out about the rain season though. Upside - hotels can be cheaper and we can get discounts on Disney tickets for everyone. Downside - we had our last conference there.
3. Phoenix, AZ - where CHERUBS has a professional conference, but the upside is there will be a lot of guest speakers. Plus this would take us to the West Coast. Downside is it's in May, 2 months before the fundraisers, so we'll need more sponsors and more fundraising events.
4. Boston, MA - where the CDH clinic is and it would take us up North rather than the South again. Downside - Boston is a very expensive place to hold a conference. Upside - CDH clinic and nice weather.