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Club Tropicana fundraiser

If you grew up in the 80s, then a Wham! tape will have almost certainly been played on your Sony Walkman at some point! Help supporters relive their youth with a great night of retro music and cocktails. 

Bella Tapp, PTA chair, Abbots Ripton CE Primary School, Huntingdon:

'We wanted to run an evening event for parents. Two of our members had seen Wayne Dilks (Stars In Their Eyes 2002, waynedilks.com) perform live and recommended him. The idea of a 'Club Tropicana' night was born! We had a meeting where we worked out what needed to be done and gave different tasks to each person. The best fun was had by the 'working' group who taste-tested the cocktails - well it was Club Tropicana after all! Naturally we had to try quite a few before we agreed our final Cocktail menu.

Beach theme

We decorated the bar area to make it look as if we were on the beach, complete with a sign which looked as if it had been painted on driftwood. On large rolls of paper we created huge palm trees which we taped to the back wall of the hall. There were vases of exotic flowers, a menu and a table name (the tables were named after Wham! song titles) on each table. The food was served as a buffet and we called each table up in turn. As people arrived they were offered either an alcoholic or non-alcoholic Club Tropicana Punch (served with fruit and cocktail umbrellas) and canapés. For the main course we served up Louisiana beef casserole, jerk chicken casserole, new potatoes, cous cous and salad. For dessert, we had Key lime pie, passionfruit and ginger trifle and fruit skewers with butterscotch sauce.

Entertainment

Wayne Dilks (or rather, George Michael) was the entertainment for the evening, and we had a disco laid on for when he took a break and had finished. He was fantastic! We were all positive about the event, because we all genuinely thought it was going to be really good fun. We raised approximately £1,400. This was made up of ticket sales, which had to be bought prior to the event, bar and raffle ticket revenue. It was a huge success and the buzz on the playground the following week was amazing, everyone kept saying what a brilliant evening it had been. If other PTAs want to run something similar, I'd say that having a theme made a big difference to our success.

Tips and advice for fundraisers

If we ran this event again, we would definitely seek the advice of someone with catering experience - we massively over catered, resulting in wasted food and money spent unnecessarily. We also over catered on cocktails - although the alcohol certainly wasn't wasted, and the tequila was very useful for those who wanted tequila slammers later in the evening! The event was so successful because of a number of things, but the belief and enthusiasm of our PTA meant it wasn't hard to sell tickets - we all put in an awful lot of effort and went the extra mile to make it special.'


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