The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri: women building better communities.
This is the third and final installment of Rachel Sexton’s behind the scene look at planning the League’s 100th Anniversary Luncheon. Click on the links to catch up on Part I and Part II.
By: Rachel Sexton, 100th Anniversary Co-Chair, 2013-14
Cold (and WET) Feet
Finally, after 15 months, we had 1000 people eager to attend the luncheon and all of the big questions had been answered. Heck, we had even made time for some of the really fun stuff like picking out the floral arrangements at Trapp, partaking in the menu tasting (no rubber chicken for our guests!) and having the occasional Sunday Chairman’s decompression meeting over mimosas. As we sat in rehearsal the night before the luncheon – with the Looney family and Shawsie Branton and the League’s leadership – a lump formed in my throat. Not even those storm clouds brewing over the Kansas City skyline could put a damper on my enthusiasm; we did it – we really DID it…and then my phone rang.
It was the speaker’s agency saying, “Rachel, I just talked to Hoda and I don’t want you to panic.” Don’t panic? Had she taken offense at my attempts to be witty in the welcome note I left for her? Was she put off by the penguin wine glasses we hoped would warm her heart? It was worse…much worse. Hoda was stranded in St. Louis where those storm clouds had become a full blown weather event. Luckily, the plane was able to attempt to depart after a couple of hours, but they warned us that there was a chance the flight would be unable to land in Kansas City and diverted right back. While Lisa, Betsy and I paced the floor at Bartle, we came up with a plan: if the flight was diverted, we would drive to St. Louis, grab Hoda and make it back just in time to change our clothes. Poor Hoda probably doesn’t even realize what a bullet she dodged: sure, she didn’t make it in until well after midnight, but the alternative was a road trip with three type-A, stressed out, sleep deprived Chairmen. We would have made Kathie Lee look like the Queen Mother.
Happily Ever After
Hopefully you know the rest of the story because you were a part of it. We couldn’t have asked for a more dedicated Committee, a more picture perfect day, a more supportive group of guests or a more endearing speaker. It was better than I ever dreamed it could be, but I think that’s true of so many League experiences. When the passionate, talented women of the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri come together for a great cause, there’s just a special magic that no spreadsheet can quantify, no thunderstorm can squelch and no other organization can replicate.