Grand Opening for 600

by admin on September 13, 2009

Event: Celebration/Grand Opening of newly renovated church building
Date: February 3rd
Budget: $1500.00
Menu: Cookies, grapes, punch


* 880 8-oz cups from BJ’s (about 200 leftover)
* 1200 6-inch clear plastic plates from Party City (about 450 leftover)
* 600 beverage napkins (300 leftover)
* White grape juice from BJ’s – 16 gallons (none left)
* Ginger ale – 16 gallons (none left)
* Powdered lemonade mix (only 4 gallons made and used)
* White/Red grapes – 4 flats=72 pounds from wholesaler at State Farmer’s Market (3 flats would have been plenty)
* 210 dozen cookies made by 23 women in the church – See recipes (About 60 dozen more cookies were brought the morning of the reception by women who we were not not aware had signed up for this. At least 70 dozen cookies leftover and given away.)
* Plastic wrap, 1 gallon ziplock baggies, food service gloves


Rental of six 5-gallon punch fountains
Rental of 6 72X72-inch olive colored table toppers
6 8-foot tables
6 white floor length tablecloths
Electrical cords
Gaffer’s Tape
6 coolers
2 5-gallon buckets (paint supply store)
36 white plastic 18X11-inch trays (purchased from Party City)
4 hurricane lamp/vases for table decor
8 dozen roses

Budget Expenses:

Paper products 413.00
36 trays 100.00
6 Punch Fountain rentals 250.00
6 table toppers rental 50.00
Rental Co. Delivery/pick up fee 50.00
Grapes 190.00
Grape juice (16 gallons) 100.00
Ginger Ale (32 2-liter bottles)
Decor/flowers 138.00
Cookies – Free, no one wanted to be reimbursed for baking costs

Labor Assignments:

Cheryl P. took on the responsibility of recruiting volunteers and matching them to tasks I had previously given her…sort of like a “headhunter”. I don’t know whose idea this was but it worked beautifully by freeing me to work on the logistical plans without having to divide my time soliciting volunteers. Once the tasks had been assigned, I then took over to deliver further information to the specific groups of people.

Below is the task list I gave Cheryl:


20 people to bake 10 doz cookies each
1-2 persons to buy food/punch
2-3 people to prepare food (Sat)
4-8 people to set up tables (Sat)


4 men for punch duty (men only)
4 teams of 2-4 women each for food display (at SGC 8 a.m.)
3 men to buy 150 lbs ice (men only)
1-2 men trash crew (men only)


2 people food clean up and consolidation
2 men to tear down and clean punch fountains and possibly return to rental facility
2 women to wash dishes
1 person to clean up decor
1-2 women to wash and return tablecloths
8-10 people facility clean up

Below is the actual tasks as executed by the persons assigned to that task:


Julie – Purchase 16 gallons (32 2-liter bottles) of ginger ale, take to church and put in refrigerator

Jeanne – Purchase 16 gallons of white grape juice from BJ’s, deliver to church. Purchase paper products and deliver.

Patti – Go to State Farmers’ Market in the wholesale building and buy four flats (18 pounds each) of white and red grapes from R&H Produce. Deliver to church on Friday.

Cookie Baking – 23 women signed up to make 10 dozen cookies each for a total of 230 dozen cookies. Delivered to church by 9 am Saturday morning. Email that was sent to all cookie bakers:

Hello Ladies!

Thank you for volunteering to serve the church by baking cookies for the grand opening of our building! Even though we are keeping the reception menu simple and light, baking our absolute best cookies gives us the opportunity to do our very baking best thus displaying our culinary talents. Cookie baking to the glory of God!

As Cheryl has probably informed you already, there are some parameters to this service.

1. 10 dozen cookies of the most beautiful, delicious, to die for cookies you know how to make.

2. I prefer not to have cookies that are exceptionally moist (and prone to falling apart) or gooey simply because the way in which they will be served with other cookies might make it messy.

3. Limited chocolate chip cookies. I didn’t want 100 dozen chocolate chip cookies showing up but 30-40 dozen would be fine. Tinea is making a macadamia nut chocolate chip and if you have a smashing great choc. chip recipe you want to make, let me know. Chunk chocolate instead of chips, for example, and the church can reimburse you for the increased expensive of better ingredients.

4. I have white and milk chocolate dipping chocolate if anyone needs it.

5. Please email or hand me a copy of your recipe you are making. All recipes will be put in an online database on my web site

6. Please have your cookies in the church kitchen or on the book nook counter by Saturday morning 9 am. I know this is early but another team of volunteers will be redistributing the many cookies into mixed batches for each buffet table that morning.

Thank you again! I look forward to seeing the fruits of your cookie baking expertise.


February 2nd, Saturday morning prep. 9:00 AM

Donna , Charlie, Victoria, Vicki and Andrea , Richard and Karen , Jennie , Tinea , Bethany , Tim, Abby and Emma

Here’s the plan! We all meet at the church lobby at 9 am. We’ll then set up six 8-foot tables in the multipurpose room, foyer and auditorium and proceed to place linens on them, punch fountains, plates, cups, napkins and floral arrangements, tape down electrical cords, etc. I don’t expect this to take longer than 30 minutes since each table is identical and not that complicated.

Meanwhile two other 8-foot tables will be put up, temporarily, by the booknook to create an assembly line for cookie trays. It’s the best solution we could figure out to get over 21 different varieties of cookies dispersed onto 24 trays. Each finished tray will be plastic wrapped and placed on its spot on each buffet station. Then those two 8 footers will be put away. I have no idea how long this will take but personally, it sounds like a load of fun to get the first preview at what everyone made.

Several people will have the task of washing and then snipping grapes into small clusters. These will go back into the refrigerator for the Sunday morning people to deal with.

The trashcans are to be covered with white plastic table skirting to hide their trash can ugliness. Party City carries these and 2 skirts per can are needed because the skirting is too short and people need to “layer” the skirts.

Clean up any mess we made and then we are out of there. Unless we are goofing off having too much fun, I see this taking less than 2 hours.


Sunday-8:30 am food prep Amanda , Shawn , Abby and Emma , Julie , Dorsey, Hannah, Rachel, Katie

Hello Ladies! Having signed up for Sunday morning prep, I’m emailing to give you the details.

When you arrive, you’ll find the six buffet stations (2 in the foyer, 2 in the multipurpose room and 2 in the auditorium) already set up with linens, fountains, paper products and cookies. What will be missing are the grapes and punch. Your task that morning is to don food service gloves (found in the kitchen) and using the food carts, go from table to table placing 6 pounds of grapes onto each fruit tray which will already be on the table. After placing, you’ll cover the fruit tray with plastic wrap.

There are three men bringing a total of 150 pounds of ice by 9:15 am. Your next task is to place equal containers of grape juice and ginger ale, totaling 5 gallons, in each of the six coolers, use the ice to cover them and then place one each UNDER each table.

That’s it. You should be done by 9:30 am.

GRAND OPENING ICE MEN – Tim, Brian and Tom

Hello gentlemen! You are receiving this email because you have registered with Cheryl to bring ice for the church Grand Opening. As the coordinator of the reception, my email is to give you the final details and confirm your understanding of the task involved.

Each man is to purchase and bring to church 50 pounds of cubed ice. I’m assuming you will use coolers to transport the ice and if you don’t mind, we need to use them for the duration of the service and reception afterwards. Save your receipts because you can be reimbursed by the church for this purchase.

Please deliver this ice to the church kitchen door by 9:15 am at the very latest. There is another team of people who will be waiting to take receipt of that ice and use it for prepping the punch prior to the service.

Please reply to this email to confirm receipt of email.

JUST BEFORE END OF SERVICE PREP (about 12 noon): Mark, Nathaniel, Emma, Abby, Jeanne, Tom, Dorsey, Carla

Remove plastic wrap from trays, add punch and turn on fountains.


Good morning everyone! If I’ve emailed you, it’s because Cheryl has indicated to me your willingness to volunteer in this area of service for the Grand Opening. For those of you haven’t worked with me before, I don’t like chaos or confusion even for clean-ups so I lay out the plan well in advance with people knowing exactly what they are doing. Informed volunteers make happy volunteers!

After reading this and noting what task(s) you are doing, could you please reply to this email to indicate to me you’ve received it and basically have no questions about what you are assigned to do?

TRASHMEN – Jeff and Ben Your task is both during the event and afterwards. There will be three large trash cans situated around the building (1 between the two doors in the multipurpose room, 1 near a door in the auditorium and 1 somewhere in the foyer, probably closer to the front of the building). They each will have a white plastic skirt covering its usual trash can ugliness but underneath hanging on a handle will be an extra can liner. Your task is to monitor the state of each can during the reception and empty it if full, replace with liner and remove the bagged trash to behind the building outside the doors by the foyer bathrooms. After the event, your task is to remove all trash from the cans (including the white skirt), put it all in the dumpster and return the trash cans to their place…2 in the kitchen and 1 in the cleaning closet in the hallway. Obviously this has to occur after the bulk of trash from around the building has been collected.

PUNCH PATROL – Nathaniel, David , Matthew , Randy , Alex , Mark

Just before the event: There are six buffet stations situated in 3 rooms of the building (2 in the multipurpose room, 2 in the foyer and 2 in the back of the auditorium). Prior to the service starting the supplies for the first batch of punch will be located in a cooler underneath each table. Each punch fountain holds 5 gallons and there should be five gallons of punch components (ginger ale and grape juice) in the cooler. Just add everything you see in the cooler to the fountain. I already have a team doing this for the 2 tables in the auditorium but I need two, maybe three people to help with this for the multipurpose room tables. That means leaving the service about ten minutes before it ends.

During the event: David , Nathaniel, Alex and Randy…Your task is to monitor the six punch fountains and refill as necessary. Once the punch initially in the fountains is gone, we’re transitioning to lemonade made from a powdered mix. You’ll find two 5-gallon buckets in the kitchen with about 4 gallons of lemonade each already mixed. You need only get a bag of ice from the freezer, put it in the bucket and then make your through the expected throng of humanity to pour this into the fountain. (Note: We are contemplating putting 5 gallon buckets of pre-made lemonade under the table to be accessed when needed. I’ll get back to you if that becomes a plan.) If there is still a need for punch fountain replenishment, there is more powdered lemonade mix in the kitchen. I’ll have a note taped on the refrigerator detailing how much mix to water is needed.

If our guests are many or very thirsty, you might be filling these fountains with ice water towards the end. I just don’t know how this will go…there could be 800 people trying to get a drink or people may be ravenously thirsty.

After Event: Nathaniel, Matthew, David. Nathaniel is in charge of getting the punch fountains removed from the tables as soon as possible, rinsed out, dried. We are not saving any leftover lemonade so dumping it outside the back door is fine. Using the garden hose to rinse them is fine. There will towels in the kitchen to dry them. Once dried, they need to be placed near the foyer front doors for later pick up by the rental companies.

GENERAL CLEAN UP: Schlax Family (not Mark), Cheryl, Hinds kids. Scour the three rooms for trash on chairs, under chairs and remove it.


Mandy, Jennie, Lynne, Nicki – Remove trays of cookies and fruit to the kitchen. Since there are 36 trays total, it will be impractical to have 36 separate trays so consolidate trays of leftover cookies into a few trays. You’ll find these trays stack beautifully making transporting many of them at one time pretty easy.

Once in the kitchen, Mandy and Jennie will be packaging leftovers in ziplock bags located in a drawer by the pantry door.

WASHING DISHES – Liz , Nicki, maybe Jennie on back -up if needed. The only things in need of washing are the 36 trays, 5-gallon buckets. One of you wash, the other dries.

TABLECLOTHS – Lynne -please take charge of removing the table cloths and making sure they are collected in one area. The white cloths belong to the church and Andrea and Stephanie will be taking these to wash. The green cloths are rentals and should be placed near the punch fountains in the foyer. Andrea and Stephanie- the cloths need to be cleaned and returned by the following week.

RENTAL CHAIRS – Mark ..Could you please take charge of these? Immediate after the conclusion of the service, there will be a rapid tear down of several rows of these wooden rental chairs in the rear to make room for buffet access in the rear. They will be moved to the storage rooms on either side of the stage. Ron and Scott are responsible for overseeing this part. What needs to be done after the reception is over is to move those chairs to the foyer for rental company pick-up. Jim Martin specifically requests that they not be stacked against the walls but rather on the floor. The baptismal thingy needs to be rolled from the storage room back to its position in the back right of the auditorium.

TABLE TEAR DOWN – Finally, the six 8-foot tables need to be folded and returned to the right stage storage room. Nathaniel, and whomever males are left. Electrical cords untaped from floor and put in kitchen pantry.

Various people will be vacuuming as necessary.

From start to finish, this should take 30 minutes thereabouts. I cannot predict when the reception will wind down and if it straggles on, we may start tearing down the multipurpose room tables first and leave the foyer ones for last. Just look for me for some indication that we could start this.

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