The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri: women building better communities.
We are excited to share a behind the scenes look into the planning and preparation that went into the League’s 100th Anniversary Luncheon featuring guest speaker Hoda Kotb in September 2013. 100th Anniversary Committee co-chair Rachel Sexton provides a witty and informative recap of what went into making the luncheon into a sensational event. This will be a three part article so stay tuned for Part II and Part III. You won’t want to miss it!
By: Rachel Sexton, 100th Anniversary Co-Chair, 2013-14
If you’ve ever exchanged vows or been part of a wedding party, you know that there are two guaranteed moments of magic: the proposal and the “I do”. What lies in between is much less certain and is filled with big dreams… and slaps of reality, tears…and laughter, moments of exhaustion… and infusions of adrenaline. Planning the 100th Anniversary Luncheon for the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri was a very similar experience.
June 2012 – The proposal…
Since I met the true love of my life, Mr. Brian King, at a microbrwery bar 15 years ago, I suppose it was only appropriate that I became engaged to the 100th Anniversary Luncheon at Tanin wine bar. It was over a full bodied red – several months after I had eagerly thrown my name in the Nominating ring to be one of the 100th Anniversary Event Co-Chairs – that the 100th Anniversary Chair presented me with a document that would be analyzed, adjusted and agonized over for days to come. No, my friends, this was no prenup; this was even more angst inducing: the outline for the 100th year events that had been assembled over the past decade by many members of our organization who wanted to make sure our first century was properly commemorated. Fortunately, what could have been a document as thick as a bridal magazine had been scrupulously edited down to several pages outlining very specific events and, for better or worse, we had 15 months to pull it off.
The first order of business was the fall luncheon, slated for September of 2013 at a location TBD with a guest speaker TBD. Knowing that our League operates on an annual cycle and that most members change committees every 12 months, having more than a year to plan an event initially felt like a luxury (stop laughing, newlyweds), but an inventory of all the key things that needed to be determined – let alone acted upon – quickly erased that notion.
Fortunately, I was joined by two supremely talented Chairmen: the illustrious Sustaining member Lisa Hickok who taught me – among dozens of other life and League lessons – that a Chair is something you sit in while a Chairman is a person who leads a Committee, and Active member Betsy Ballard. I had first served with Betsy when I was Director of Membership and she was our Member-at-Large. My daughter was due right around the time of our first Council meeting, so when I called Betsy to introduce myself and welcome her to the Committee, I said, “I may need you to lead our first meeting because I’m due at the end of the month.” She said, “What day are you due?” When I replied, “July 28.” She said, “Oh perfect! I’m due two weeks before, so I’m sure I’ll be able to cover the meeting for you.”
Stay tuned to find out more about the big day!