• Connar McLeod

The Hundred Acre Woods

I have had the pleasure of working at many different event venues. While I have loved and appreciated each of these experiences, I have missed the opportunity to be creative and build an event from scratch. So often as an event manager, you take the details from a client, put the details on a banquet event order and you’re done.

My current full-time position gives me the opportunity to work with clients, but also allows the chance to create events from the start for our members. Some of these events are annual events that are very similar year to year. Others give you the chance to reinvent the wheel.

When I started back in October, I was given a centennial celebration for a club within the club known as the Beavers. I was told time and time again “this party needs to be unlike any event we have ever hosted here.” I took the words to heart and worked closely with our Athletic Director, his team and the Beavers’ planning committee to actualize their vision and bring new ideas to the table.

This Beavers Centennial Celebration was a woodland themed affair and jokingly called between my colleagues, “the hundred acre woods.” With the help of a few local vendors, we were able to transform the space into a whimsical woodland.

From the beginning we set the precedent with a formal invitation. Our communications team worked with one of our members to actualize our vision. Complete with a double envelope, vellum wrap and custom seal, the invitation set the tone.

The night of the event, no detail was missed, from guests driving into the parking garage with the centennial logo shining onto it, to the blue carpet as guests entered and wild smilax hanging from the ceiling of our dining room. Guests enjoyed a live oyster shucking station and a plethora of hors d’oeuvres from the land and sea.

As guests were seated for dinner, they enjoyed a choice of two amuse bouche followed by three amazing courses created by our incredible Executive Chef Kevin Brennan and his brilliant culinary team. We had requested a surf and turf menu from start to finish to reflect the difference between our Land Beavers and Swimming Beavers. The culinary team exceeded our expectations with an incredible Lobster Tail, Scallop, Beef Tenderloin and Pork Belly.

As the night transposed, guests made their way to the dance floor in the room we transformed into a “Beaver Dam” with the help of Display Group. Members were welcomed by 50 Amp Fuse to dance the night away under the trees.

The energy that evening, spent with such a close group of friends, made a beautiful night even more special. During dinner we were able to seat everyone in our largest ballroom, creating an intimate celebration for each of the members as they honored the traditions of their Club. The camaraderie between the Beavers was what truly made the night. Members spent the night catching up with long-time friends, laughing, dancing, and creating memories they will never forget.

Yes, I worked with an incredible team to create a gorgeous black tie event. We created the space, but that space had to be filled. The energy that filled it is what made the night. Those relationships that we have the chance to foster, those memories we lay the groundwork for, those traditions we honor- those are what make this job special.

Floral by Emerald City Designs

Decor by Display Group

Ice Sculpture by Ice Guru

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