The Magic Hole Punch and “Toilet Problems” – Adventures at the Light The Night Walks

Another year of the Light the Night Walks has come to an end. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) holds five Walks in New Jersey every year, and Events with Ginger & Co. coordinates the logistics for all five Walks. Following are a couple anecdotes from the two Walk sites I coordinated year, Verona and Morristown.

In this day and technological age, who needs a hole punch?

One of the wonderful and so very moving aspects of each Light The Night Walk is the “Why We Walk” area, which is comprised of tents to “Remember Your Loved Ones” and “Celebrate Survivorship.” We used to have walkers punch a hole in their pictures of loved ones to tie to a display for all Walkers to honor, but now we use clothespins. I teased the client about the hole punch being on the packing list for the Verona Walk, and she reassured me that even though we no longer needed it on-site, a hole punch was indeed packed in the bins and ready for the Verona Walk.

Event Banners Events with Ginger & Co.

Cut to on-site on event day: we were using more event banners than ever before. As the rental company raced to install and erect all of the event’s banners, we realized that a few were printed on vinyl without grommets at the top. You need those grommets to ensure the event banner is fully secured and pulled tight so they can be read clearly through any kind of wind. Lo and behold, a use for the hole punch!

Fate had the last laugh though, when we could not find the hole punch when we needed it. We found a different solution to the event banner issue (and rest assured, all looked beautiful on-site), but only found the hole punch after the event was over and we were packing the trucks!

Not the “toilet problems” you’re thinking.

The Morristown Light the Night Walk on October 26th was another beautiful event. It was a lovely, sunny day, but it was cold and VERY windy. So windy, in fact, that I had “toilet problems!!” Let me explain.

The Morristown Walk site was really looking good – all the tents were up, banners were going up, the tables and chairs were being placed, and our volunteers were arriving to get into position. As I was returning from surveying the site, one of the LLS staff said to me “Are the porta-potties moving?” I didn’t know if that was a trick question, and I thought to myself that the portable toilets were placed correctly this morning, when I turned to see that they were ACTUALLY MOVING!! That is how windy this day was!

Tracy and I rushed to stabilize the toilets by re-positioning them up against the nearby flagpoles, and thought we were done. A few minutes later, the toilets were blowing around again. This time, we took 50-pound sandbags to place inside each toilet to ensure they wouldn’t move for the duration of the Walk.

It was at this point when our flower vendor delivered the carnations, and asked one of our staff members where I was. She responded: “She’s having toilet problems!” I guess you could call re-positioning the porta-potties that, but I’m sure that’s not what the flower vendor thought!

It just goes to show you that in the event planning world, you never know when that one obscure item on the materials list might save the day, or when you’re going to have “toilet problems!” Be ready for anything!

Photo credit: Del Rossi Photography

About Amy Ferrone

Amy Ferrone brought her communication and organizational skills to the event planning firm Events with Ginger & Co. in 2011. Now Associate Event and Office Manager, she has been the lead event planner on events for Autism Speaks, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Foundation Fighting Blindness, among others. She is also on-site at virtually every event at which the events company works.Prior to her time as a full-time mom to Mac, Owen and Sean, Amy worked on Wall Street, last at AIG Global Investment Group as an Operations Manager and Consultant. Amy is active in her sons' schools as Treasurer of the PTA and helping plan and run events throughout the year. Amy graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a degree in Chemistry. She lives in Scotch Plains, NJ with her husband and boys.

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