YES! I jumped for joy and did a happy dance in my kitchen. After years of admiring pictures on Facebook and wishing I could be a part it, I had scored a table at the most exclusive party in town, the Black and White Pajama Party.
It was no easy feat to attain tickets to this ultimate ladies night out. The process involved submitting the request by email and then waiting in anticipation for confirmation. In previous years, including this one, tickets were usually sold out within hours, attracting women from Milton and all over the GTA. Even picking up the tickets for the event was carefully managed, as Margaret Saliba engaged in “Where’s Marg?” around the city to hand deliver the goods. Who would have thought that the idea of dressing in pjs to hang out with other women would become so popular! Don’t get me wrong. This event was the largest, most fashionable one in seven years, with approximately 330 women showcasing the latest peek into pj couture, from stripes and polkadots, to animal prints, to Halloween costumes, with one rule strictly enforced: no lingerie!
So what could possibly entice all these ladies into spending hours planning the perfect black and white pj outfit? There is much more depth and purpose to this party that is definitely worth sharing. Not only did this event bring together the joyful energy of women wanting to connect and run a bit wild in furry slippers on Friday night, this event marked the end of a three-year commitment between the Milton District Hospital Foundation, Milton Banquet and Conference Centre and the PJ Party initiative. Together, with brothers Ezio and Adrian Angelucci, the owners of the Milton Banquet and Conference Centre, the PJ Party committed to raising $75,000 for the expansion of the hospital by naming the MRI waiting room. This was no small task! Let me elaborate on how it all went down.
Connection, collaboration, and generosity from our community were at the heart of this initiative. The pj party committee started planning months in advance, consisting of twelve enthusiastic women who wanted to play, give back to the community and be part of a greater cause. Their achievable objective for the evening was for women to feel comfortable, laugh and have fun, while raising money for the hospital. After all, it was a FUNdraiser!
Becoming a sponsor for the event was the optimal opportunity to be recognized and advertise and let me tell you, the openhandedness of our community was phenomenal! No opportunity to raise money was left unturned. Driving into the parking lot of the Conference Centre, ladies were greeted by third time welcome sponsor, Milton Chrysler, lining the driveway with their showpieces. Once inside, there was wine, sponsored by Heather Gerrits of Team Gerrits, kicking off the fun to be had during the Mix and Mingle, sponsored by Milton Orthotics. Women were gathered in the vendor area to network while exchanging warm hugs and the beginnings of all night chatter that was unstoppable. Halton Hitz, a local radio station, was broadcasting live and interviewing guests so that the entire city could be a part of the exhilaration!
The vendor area was hosted by inspiring entrepreneurs showcasing a variety of items. Carol Duvall, a Royal LePage Sales Representative, sponsored the pretty in pink candy table, very sweet indeed. Even the furry friends who could not attend were taken care of with services offered by Debbie Dyck of Urban Paw Dog Services, sharing sponsorship with Sandy Boethelo of Sandy Bee Treats.
No men were allowed at the event, with the exception of two guest appearances this year. Mayor Gordon Krantz, recently named longest serving Mayor in Canada, graced us with his witty and gentle presence. He took to the microphone expressing his gratitude for our community and for finally being granted permission to experience what happens within the walls of the exclusive pj party. Adam van Koeverden, former Olympian and Federal Liberal nomination candidate, also made a fun celebrity appearance.
How could the pj party discriminate against men? Although men were not invited, they were able to go home with every woman in the room by forking out $500 to have their logo displayed on the swag bags
Once everyone settled in and before the real entertainment started, it was time to chow down. Chef Federico and his team satisfied our taste buds from savoury to sweet with their impressive line up of buffet items, catering to dietary restrictions ranging from vegetarian to gluten free.
The night commenced with a range of entertainment offered by the Game Sponsors. From lashes or tails to passing a lifesaver around the table using our mouths and a straw, the audience engagement was non-stop and it got rowdy! Even the melody of loonies and toonies dropping into the money jars before each game was non-existent. Sam Kassam-MacFie and Margaret Saliba kept the night flowing by rocking the roles of MC, not an easy task with a buzzing hall of energized women! When it was my turn to step on stage, I could feel the high vibrational energy of the room that was present. That energy definitely transferred favorably to our table, as we won three of the eight games!
One of the main highlights of the night was the incredible, extensive silent auction, displaying an overwhelming amount of generously donated items by local businesses and individuals. The guests left with more than they bargained for and were of course encouraged to support those who supported the event.
Now are you ready for the results of this incredibly wild evening hosting 330 women in slumber wear? The Black and White PJ Party raised a whopping $32, 000+ for the Milton District Hospital Foundation!
The success of this initiative was possible only with the dedication and hours of work by the Milton Banquet and Conference Centre and the pj party committee. Gratitude to every single person, entrepreneur and organization that donated, sponsored, attended or contributed in some way.
This initiative reminds us of a few things. We live in an exceptionally supportive community that values the importance of collaboration and healthcare close to home. We are reminded that big things always start small. We are extremely lucky to call Milton our home. As humans, we are wired to want to give as much as we can. As the holiday season approaches, let’s remember that none of us are alone. We live in a town of expanded hearts where help is only one request away.
Cheers to making memories that go full circle in our community. I hear that there are already requests for next year’s pj party tables. Mark your calendars for the first week of November. So ladies, who wants to join me?