You’re Cordially Invited to The Nutcracker!

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There are many reasons people get excited this time of year but one universal source of joy for people all over the globe is found by attending The Nutcracker ballet. This event is a long standing spectacular tradition – good for the young or the young at heart! The first performance of the ballet was held around the Christmas holiday season in 1892, at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. The popularity grew outside of Russia into England by 1934 and by 1944 the San Francisco Ballet held the first United States performance. For the last 70 years, The Nutcracker has evolved into a cherished favorite. See our Top Ten Must-See list below for more details on performances in your area. If you’ve never been before or if you haven’t had a chance to take your children yet consider this your formal invitation to make 2014 the year to experience the wonders of The Nutcracker! Read on to find where the nutcracker in playing in your state!

The Nutcracker: The Holiday Must-See Event:

  1. Houston Ballet
    Nutcracker shows tradition can still thrill.”- Houston Chronicle
  2. Boston Ballet
    “A holiday season without The Nutcracker would be like New Year’s Eve without champagne.” –The Improper Bostonian
  3. San Francisco Ballet
    Get out your iPad and interact with SF Ballet’s magical production through the new iPad application!
  4. New York City Ballet
    George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ is one of the most complex theatrical, staged ballets in the Company’s active repertory.–NYCB
  5. Atlanta Ballet
    “For Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker, the beauty of the dance makes the gift.” –ArtsATL
  6. Pacific Northwest Ballet
    Pacific Northwest Ballet can proudly lay claim to the world’s most recognized and celebrated production of Nutcracker.
  7. Miami City Ballet
    This lavish performance – one of the ONLY productions of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker ™ in the nation – features magnificent scenery, elaborate costumes, and the magical music of Tchaikovsky.
  8. Ballet Chicago2014 marks the 18th year of Ballet Chicago’s performances of The Nutcracker!
  9. Saint Louis Ballet
    “Lovely ‘Nutcracker’ spins holiday magic at Touhill.” –The Current
  10. Moscow Ballet
    Moscow Ballet performs Russian ballets in over 70 cities across North America annually. Get tickets in Your City!

In addition to attending one of these amazing events above you could always put on a Nutcracker production of your own at your school or local theater company. Check out all of the awesome Nutcracker ballet products we offer to make your production one to remember! Journey with Clara as she dances on the arm of the Nutcracker Prince through sparkling snowflakes in a kingdom of sweets. Come one, come all and experience the magic of The Nutcracker!

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Season’s Greetings: How to Raise Funds for Your School This Holiday Season

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The holidays are the perfect time of year to raise funds for your child’s school. Since it is already September, now is the perfect time to start planning your holiday fundraiser. Be creative and don’t feel compelled to put up the same old card table to sell homemade treats for 50 cents apiece. There are more lucrative ways to raise money these days besides bake sales! With a little planning and preparation,  you school can end the holiday season in the black – with funds for that school library makeover or new computers for the tech lab!

Go the traditional route with a twist!

It’s up to you and your school to decide what product is best for your students to sell. Perhaps you want to focus on calendars, greeting cards, gift wrap or gift tags, since these are items many parents will be picking up for the holidays anyways. It can be tricky deciding what to sell but remember that seemingly small items can add up to a lot of money! School groups raise more than a billion dollars every year selling items such as cookie dough, calendars or coupon books. Don’t miss your opportunity to get in on the action and raise funds for your school.

Once you decide on the best product to sell be sure to advertise your fundraiser. You can put up customized posters throughout the school and in your local libraries, churches, grocery stores and shops. You could also create customized postcards with your fundraisers information – these could be sent home with the children and even mailed to local businesses or given out at community events.

Take your fundraiser online! Most people these days will appreciate the opportunity to shop online in the comfort of their own home. Not to mention this type of fundraiser works great for family or friends at a distance that still want to support your school. Your school most likely already has a website, so just dedicate a page to use to collect funds via PayPal, so grandparents and family that don’t live locally can still donate to your child’s school. Don’t forget – this holiday season is the perfect time to remind people that all donations made to the school are tax deductible.

 

 

 

Raising Funds at Your Holiday Event with Custom Raffle Tickets

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If you’re looking for a great way to raise money at your upcoming holiday bonanza, but have the need to do it on a budget then fundraising with auctions is for you! There are several different types of auctions for your special event –  we are outlining two of our favorites, raffles that utilize Chinese raffle tickets and for those events that will have a entrance ticket component, our large custom raffle tickets. Both are sure to please and will take your fundraising event to the next level.

Up first, Chinese auctions which are very similar to silent auctions except they have a raffle component added to the mix. Instead of bidding on items by a written bid it is done by using Chinese Raffle tickets. Customers buy a number of tickets for a set price, then use the tickets to bid on the items that are on display by dropping them in a fishbowl next to the item. Each customer can put as many tickets as they want in the fishbowl. Once the auction has ended, the winning ticket for each auction item is drawn and the winner is announced!

If you are looking for raffle tickets that can double as an entrance ticket with a graphic and that can hold more information about your event – our Large Custom Raffle Tickets are perfect! You can upload your logo and text instantly online. There’s a variety of colors to choose from, you can choose an image from our design library or upload your own to complete your ticket. The overall process gives you the flexibility to make your tickets as unique as your event.

Both of these auctions are perfect to use for fundraisers around the holidays, think of the possibilities for raffle fundraisers at schools, galas, art shows, carnivals, and much more. Ticket costs are low compared to the actual value of the auction items so buyers and organizations win big! You can add to the fun by having a theme such as Christmas or New Year’s. And of course, you can create your fantasy theme any time of the year! The possibilities are endless!

YOUR TURN: How could you use these auction tickets to amp up your next fundraiser?

Fall Festival in Review: How to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

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A fall festival is a great opportunity for people to get together to celebrate the changing of the seasons, while also taking part in games and enjoying tasty treats and supporting your fundraiser! Whether your festival is for families within a neighborhood, a local school or college, or a neighborhood church, it is a fun way to get people together. The key to planning a successful fall festival is to embrace the prep time and be willing to think outside the box!

Organizing a fall festival is a big undertaking. In order to create a successful event early planning and organization are vital! Know your objectives! When planning try to keep in mind the size you want your event to be and what age range you are planning it for. Are you planning a kid friendly fundraiser, or a fun event that the entire family can enjoy for free? Do you want people to wear costumes to your festival? What size space will you need to hold the event successfully? By asking all of these questions, you can really design a fall festival that will work best for your target audience and yield the best return for your fundraiser.

To begin, it’s important to create a budget and stick to it. As you plan your event, involve your leaders and volunteers in the brainstorming and decision-making process.  By asking the leaders for ideas, feedback, and suggestions from the start, you’re encouraging them to offer their input throughout the rest of the event.

Then, once you have decided who those leaders are create VIP/Volunteer/Crew/Parent or other custom badges for each of your team members – this way it will be easily to spot those important people on your team in a snap! This will be especially important once the festival is buzzing with business.

Next, you will need to decide how to charge for festival games and treats. Roll tickets are the perfect solution to redeem for playing a game. If you decide there will be an all-inclusive price you could use customizable event tickets that include a stub to tear off. Make sure to spread out the festivities – you don’t want ticket sales jammed up with insanely long food lines, so make sure you have the support you will need depending on the size of the event. Make sure that you are utilizing each volunteer, and once the event starts if a particular activities becomes super busy, move team members to that area for back up support.

Third, choose a fun theme – the possibilities are endless when it comes to fall. Pumpkins, ghosts, bats, ghouls, scarecrows – oh boy! Make sure your location is large enough to accommodate your plans so you can spread out activities as much as possible.  It can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be but make sure it’s fun for the kiddos. Decide if you want to include games, hayrides or other activities. Once you know your theme you can get your decorations, games and posters ordered. This is the fun part!  Puppet shows and face painting are budget friendly options that all kids enjoy – and of course, don’t forget to designate a part of the parking lot for trunk or treat.

Of course, always be sure to have a plan b – begin planning well in advance and give your committee plenty of time to organize, brainstorm and prepare. After all, the purpose of your fall festival is not only to give your community an event they will look forward to – you want your festival to be a fundraising success for the charity that you are raising funds for too!

Fundraising Tricks & Treats: How to Organize a School Trunk or Treat

Tricks and TreatsWith summer fading and October fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about how you can give the kids a safe Halloween experience that still lets them do all the things they love about the holiday — putting up decorations, playing games with their friends, wearing the coolest new costumes, and of course…the candy! This year, organize a trunk or treat!

Seek out like-minded parents who are willing to donate their cars for an evening of fun. You should get the word out in advance so everyone will have plenty of time to prepare. Have the kids help decorate the car trunks and truck beds with their favorite spooky decorations such as bats, ghosts, cobwebs, or skeletons! Have someone there at every car to hand out candy and treats to the kids – parents, this is your chance to get in on the fun, so get working on those costume ideas!

With a good group of committed volunteers, there’s no limit to what you can do with your trunk or treat — haunted houses, organized games with prizes, or even live music! Best of all, you can use this experience to raise money for your child’s school. Sell tickets at the “gate,” for food, drinks, and carnival games, with all profits going to the school. You can create memorable, customized tickets for your Halloween event that they’ll ship right to your door. Find local retailers who are willing to donate to a good cause and set up a raffle. The only thing kids love more than costumes and candy is winning awesome prizes (while dressed in costume and full of candy)! We have got you covered there too — you can pick up a roll of quality raffle tickets at a price that’s less than a penny per ticket!

For a safe alternative to trick-or-treating this year, try a trunk or treat! Your kids won’t get exhausted as they do when roaming the neighborhood, it’s easier to keep an eye on them, and you don’t have to worry about cars passing through. Just as importantly, it can bring your families together while raising money for your child’s favorite club, team, or school library. Use your imagination and the possibilities are endless!