When the 300 tickets for the Black and White PJ party were made available, they were sold out within 3 hours. Many of the ladies have attended for several years. “Milton citizens are very supportive,” said Marg Saliba, “after all, this is all in aid of our hospital and we’re all going to use it one way or another!”
Men were not invited! The Mayor had asked if he could attend but Marg told him: “If you want to come, you can jump out of a cake, come in drag, or be a waiter!”
She has been involved with the organisation of PJ parties for 11 years now. The first one, in aid of Breast Cancer research was held at Troy’s Diner at the Best Western and was attended by 80 people. The last 6 parties have been in aid of the hospital. “We keep it affordable and people have fun. We need the community to sponsor us and to come as guests.”
Marg emphasises that she is only one person in an amazing committee of people that were responsible for so many parts of the whole event.
At the start of the evening, cheerful waves of laughing voices filled the air, coming from a lively crowd of ladies of all ages dressed in a vast assortment of black and white outfits: mostly PJs; some fashionable ensembles; stylish tracksuits; myriads of polka dots; at least 5 sets of Mickey Mouse PJs; a skunk; a raccoon; a panda; flashy head gear; crowns; cozy slippers; and several bathrobes.
They were at first engaged in filling out mix and mingle pages which involved e.g. finding someone wearing earrings or glasses or had lived in Milton for more than 6 years. One rule for this was that no name could be written more than once, so the ladies had to continually move around and chat to others in order to complete the task.
All around the room were attractively arranged tables with colourful, aromatic or tasty treats for guests to sample and collect business cards for further contact later.
Up the stairs from this area was a huge array of silent auction items donated by Milton businesses. Cheery greetings to friends old and new abounded. Pat Cluett’s infectious laughter welcomed the crowd.
“When I get sponsors to fill the loot bags I tell them they have to give me 300 items!” Marg explained. “Featured on the loot bags are 10 businesses who each donate $500. Chrysler, our welcome sponsor, gave us $1000.” They had 4 large shiny cars at the entrance complete with balloons and signs.
Marg welcomed everyone and led many of the games. “If we’re not talking and we’re not playing games, we’re not making money!” she emphasised. Michelle Durante offered her a donation of $100 if she shut up completely for 10 minutes, which she did manage to do.
The first game of many fun filled games that continued until almost 11:00pm, involved the things that ladies had in their purses: e.g. nail file, comb, lipstick, cellphone etc. The ladies sat down if they didn’t have the item. This continued until there was a winner. For every game they participated in, people were asked to drop a toonie in a pot on their table.
“So far this year” said Marg, “by November 8th we have raised $26,045. In 6 years we have raised over $100,000. We are committed to funding an MRI room at the hospital.”
Photos by: Rick Di Lorenzo