31 Mar, 2017
10 : 00
The Yew Chung International School of Beijing’s Parent Organization put on a fabulous event last weekend: the YCIS Beijing Oscars Charity Ball! The fabulous fun-filled evening featured entertaining performances from YCIS Beijing students, “awards” to staff and contributors in line with the theme of the evening, a variety of wonderful live auctions, and delicious food and drink.
Most impressively, the event on the whole raised over 230,000 RMB for the Seeds of Hope and New Day Foster Home charities, a momentous accomplishment and high bar set for future charity balls to come!
While the entire community came together to put on this impressive event, few contributed more to its success than our Chinese Co-president Jenny Chu, one of the head organizers of the event. Below, she details the inspiration behind the event as well as the vital role the Parent Organization plays in the YCIS Beijing community.
Why did the PO decide to organize this Charity Ball?
The idea of hosting a charity ball had been brought up many times. We knew other schools had held similar events and we wanted to as well not just to raise money for a good cause but also to bring the community together. Even though no one had any experience planning this kind of event, in the end we just decided to go for it and it turned out better than we could have imagined!
What was the goal of the event?
As this was a charity ball, one goal was of course to raise funds for the Seeds of Hope charity and the New Day Foster Home. We also wanted to bring the whole YCIS Beijing community together, not just parents but also the teachers, staff, and students. The goal was to host a community event, not just a parent event.
How did this event involve the greater YCIS Beijing community?
Instead of hiring a professional band and event planner, in the spirit of community and to be able to give even more money to charity, we took it upon on ourselves to organize the entire event. We definitely couldn’t have pulled it off without the support of different members of the community!
Students provided all the performances during the evening, plus helped to work reception, to sell raffle tickets, and to take photos. The music department teachers helped to organize the performances, and the art department donated three pieces of excellent student artwork for auction (these three pieces raised 33,000 RMB alone!).
What challenges did you face organizing the event?
Initially, because none of us had experience organizing this kind of event, we didn’t really know where to start. Funds, the most important part, required us to talk to a lot of sponsors. Selling tickets was another very big challenge! Even though we started selling tickets more than three months in advance in December, many people couldn’t commit that early. At the beginning we were very worried about this, but in the last week we sold over 100 tickets to sell out the event, which was quite the miracle!
What did you like most about organizing the event?
Working with our parents and the community was the best part. Even though the planning process is very challenging and a lot of work, it was a great experience and a lot of great memories came out of it.
What is the mission of the Parent Organization at YCIS Beijing? How did this event align with this mission?
Our main mission is to bring the community together, which is what we do on a daily basis through plenty of events for parents.
This event aligned perfectly with our mission, as we mobilized all our parents to work together towards a common goal, which definitely brought us closer together. As mentioned, we didn’t hire any event planners or professional help; even all the media and design, including invitations, advertisements, etc., were designed by us. It really shows how talented so many of our parents are and how lucky we were to have so many valuable resources!
The event was also a great excuse to organize more parent-focused group activities. For example, all the flower arrangements were done by our parents. To teach the participants how to make those arrangements, we opened six to eight class sessions to our parents led by a member of the charity committee. While it was free, attendees did need to commit to making arrangements for the event. In addition to bringing everyone closer together, it let us donate even more money to the charities!
Why should parents get involved with the PO?
It’s a lot of fun, first of all! Also, I think getting involved in community work is a great way to role model for your kids. You make friends and get to do a lot of work for the community at large, from your kids, to other parents, and to the greater Beijing community at large.
What upcoming events does the Parent Organization have planned (GCD)?
The next event is our annual Global Community Day happening on May 13! Through the event, we try to demonstrate and promote different cultures represented at YCIS Beijing and around the world. It gives our parents and families from many different countries the opportunity to share their culture and celebrates the diversity we have on campus. We hope to see you there!
Learn more about our Parent Organization, and how to get involved, by visiting their page.