Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Derby Day and All That Goes With It

Last week was intense, BUT in a wonderfully exhausting, full, and fun way.  The main thing on the docket was prepping for Banbury Cross Tec's Derby Day fundraiser banquet.  I have been volunteering there since 2011 and this was my 4th Derby Day.... it never gets old seeing a barn arena, transformed into a banquet hall.  It is even more fun to be behind the scenes and help it all happen.

Tuesday was our first scheduled work day (a couple of us were out Monday and got some stuff done informally) and the plan was to power-wash.  Well, the weather decided to join us and it poured for the first part of the day.  (by the way, rain on a metal roof . . . absolutely deafening)

Nathan power-washed the entire arena, which was desperately needed.

Meanwhile Faith, Zeke, and I moved all the big furniture out to one end of the arena to wait till the rain stopped to be able to clean it outside.

To our absolute delight, the rain did stop, and the sun came out in the afternoon, and with it came more help, so that we were able to get some clean up done outside;

plus the rest of the outside power-washing.  Tuesday was definitely a full, muscle stretching day. 

We had the morning to recuperate the next day, before heading out to Banbury that afternoon, this time with Josiah in tow, to help set up the items we had washed on Tuesday.  Plus we also hung signs around the arena, which of course required lots of people.  A couple to hold the signs, and more to stand on the ground, arms crossed head tilted, to try and see if the sign people were holding them straight.

Up in the observation room plenty of organization and paper work went on.

We had some preliminary horse racing :) amazing how fast a wooden horse can run....

Faith and I were with Mother at the Pregnancy Resource Center in the morning, but we sent Dad and Josiah over to Banbury to help unload and set up all the tables and chairs.

That afternoon Faith and I dropped in to iron table cloths and all the colorful toppers.  It was a LOT of ironing.  I got out of that part by being in charge of arranging the color scheme and making sure everything was laying perfectly straight.

Possibly my favorite day all week, Friday dawned sullen, gray and rainy, but it turned out absolutely "fabbywous".

We had mainly scheduled grooming horses for the day, along with last minute bit and pieces.  But I had the wonderful job of watching little Miss Chloe, our Program directors fun and bright daughter.  Chloe and I groomed her mini horse Rico, then after lunch we were joined in our fun by another rambunctious 3 year old whose mother and great-aunt were working on all the amazing flower displays.  We had a blast playing together.

Last minute preparations started bright and early Saturday morning, everything was looking beautiful.

It was raining/hailing with plenty of thunder on and off through the morning, and we were praying hard that it would clear up for the event.  God was so gracious, and lo and behold, by 5:00pm the clouds broke and the sun came out, just in time for the valets to start parking cars.  Josiah had agreed to come and help with the running for the valets, as he wasn't sure he could fit in, or wanted to be responsible for, all the rich peoples vehicles.  But, when a manual drove up and the 2 guys that knew how to drive them were busy, Josiah stepped up, and after that just slipped right into the job, even managing to squeeze into a tiny VW Beetle. :)

We had a real live Bagpiper that called everyone in.  I love the swirl of bagpipes. 

One of the best parts of being involved in this event, was being able to spend time with some wonderful friends.  

Beautiful ladies helped sell beautiful flowers.

The main part of the event was our live auction (which began after the watching of the Derby).  The parade of horses came first in the auction.  Each horse was brought out by one of the instructors, and introduced, and the guests are given the opportunity to sponsor the horses. 

Each year we have a star rider, one of the students at Banbury who has excelled and progressed in the program.  There are few people who so personify that description than Miss Megan, our star rider of the year.  Megan has been riding for 10 years now, and does such a fabulous job with "her horse" Malabar.

Fancy hats were everywhere, (we even had a hat contest) and the event went off wonderfully.

It was hard to believe that it was all over with when late that night we finished the last bit of clean up and headed homewards. (late as in midnight)  We are so happy to be able to be a part of Banbury and enjoy working with the horses and children each week, and know that the only way we can continue to do that is by making fundraisers like Derby Day a huge success.  I think we did it again this year!