Thanks to a fantastic donor, we now have 1,000.00 in the trip fund! So please, if you would like to be considered-- drop Aura or I an email. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, this year is kinda slow. We kinda expected that with the economy and the fact that the cookout has moved. We probably won't break even this year, which means that many of the expenses for the cookout will come out of my personal pocket, or out of what ever is left of the donation fund.
I'd like to explain some stuff and give some transparency to the cookout mechanics. What happened this year is that Beth and Ryan asked me to do it. As soon as I found out, I went to Nashville for a day and priced hotels and conference centers, looking for one that would be within a certain budget.
I guessed at 20 people X 35.00 per person = 700.00 Almost all conference centers that were nice were a minimum of 400.00 per day. I was able to get a better deal with the Quinta because we would be able to get a 10 block of rooms. They gave me the meeting room for 200.00 per day and that would give us 300.00 for catering the lunch itself. That would not include any transportation costs or extras. That would be meeting room and catering only.
We looked into Neely's BBQ, which is one of the best companies in Nashville and is very well known. They would be able to do a luncheon for 20 under our budget. With the left overs from the budget, I planned on renting a 12 person large transport van because the last two years that I've attended, we have packed my minivan and people have been very dependent me providing transportation. The van would be about 75.00 per day. If I drive the rented van, and someone else drives my mini-van, we would have enough transport for everyone to get around Nashville and see the sights no problem.
In the past Beth and Ryan over the years have taken on a substantial personal financial burden in hosting the cookout and should really be thanked for it. In these economic times, it's just not possible to do such a large shebang again... and there is a good chance that next year it will not happen at all unless someone wishes to come forward and donate 40+ hours of their personal time and about 1,000.00 of their own personal funds to make it happen.
We have been very blessed to have Aura work on the website, and I want to thank everyone who has volunteered their time and effort into this. Should we not fill the block of hotel rooms, the budget for the cookout will go up because of the contract to the hotel but hopefully canceling the rental van will make up for it. They want a minimum amount of profit, regardless of how many of us show up.