Katharine Adams is a longtime member of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Auxiliary and chair of Arkansas à la Carte. Celebrating 13 years this year, Arkansas à la Carte is held every April and features tasty bites from Arkansas’ best eateries and a premier silent auction.
Over the last 50 years, the ACH Auxiliary has invested thousands of volunteer hours and millions of dollars into the mission of Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Arkansas Children’s Research Institute. Katharine shares with us a “typical” day for an ACH Auxiliary volunteer event chair.
The alarm on my phone goes off. I hit the snooze button (usually twice if I’m lucky). I finally get up when I realize my two dogs, Tonic (a Belgium Shepherd) and Ginger (a German Shepherd), are staring at me waiting for me to take them outside. If Ginger really wants to go out, she will jump on the bed and stand on me. What a way to wake up!
After making coffee, watching the morning news, and starting breakfast, I start the process of waking up my two daughters. They have their own alarm clock to help wake them, but they have become just a good as their mother at hitting that snooze button.
Finally, the girls have had breakfast, I’ve had a little coffee, and we are all dressed and ready to go to school. Fortunately for me, we live close to school, as we are usually dashing there right before the first bell rings.
I’m back home to have a little more coffee and a bit of breakfast. I consult the list of things to do I’ve made the night before in my notebook. Time to start checking them off! I check emails (hopefully there are some from potential sponsors, hosts, and auction donors of Arkansas à la Carte!). There are work-related emails to be answered and phone calls to make. I try to take care of anything work-related first so I can then focus on other projects.
I check in with Catherine Bays, Director of Auxiliary Services at Arkansas Children’s Foundation, as we are nearing our print deadline for Arkansas à la Carte invitations. Exciting, but nerve wracking — Is everyone’s name spelled correctly? Are sponsors listed under their correct sponsorship level? Do we have their logo?
Arkansas à la Carte committee meeting at ACH. It is crunch time for getting in silent auction items so they can be included in the auction program. Fortunately, I have a great committee and donations are steadily being confirmed.
I go by several businesses to drop off auction donation forms and pick up donated auction items. It’s always exciting to see the items local businesses have donated and gratifying that they are so willing to support ACH.
Go back to school to pick up my girls. We go straight home to do homework. I have found it’s much harder for us to focus on homework after we have begun fun afternoon activities.
After homework, it’s time to start my shuttle service for the girls’ afternoon activities, taking one to dance and one to basketball practice.
I begin cooking dinner. My girls enjoy cooking and like to help with dinner. Often times they will have their own Iron Chef competition. It might be an appetizer or dessert to go with dinner.
We sit down together at the dining room table for dinner. It’s always nice to do that during the week. I hear about the girls’ experiences at school that day, and they ask me, “What did you do at Arkansas Children’s Hospital today?” Arkansas à la Carte has become a part of their lives too! They have both informed me they want to be on the decorating committee and expect to help with silent auction set up. Both girls have been patients at ACH and have had positive experiences. They love going to the Playaway Gift Shop for candy and goodies anytime we go to ACH.
Dishes have been done and girls are in bed reading until lights out. I sit down to watch a program I’ve recorded that I missed earlier in the week. I don’t have much time for TV but do have a couple of favorite shows I don’t want to miss.
In bed making out my list for the next day. I have auction follow-ups to do — phone calls, emails, pick-ups. The list seems to grow longer each day, but I love it. I drift off to sleep knowing the work of the ACH Auxiliary is helping children and that we are helping to provide a healthier tomorrow for the children of Arkansas.