Have you heard of Trêve de Noël? It’s “The Christmas Truce.” After a near 8-year hiatus, last night the newly formed Social Committee at 111 put on a glorious Holiday Party similarly filled with hope.
By way of background, during WWI, there were a series of unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front. Through the weeks leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and sing songs between the trenches. There were even reports of combatants walking across areas riddled with mines and barbed wire to exchange gifts. 111 captured that spirit last night. Here are few thoughts as to what the party was; what it wasn’t; and what it might mean going forward.
WHAT IT WAS – It was a two-and-a-half hour Holiday social featuring wine and beer, and a seemingly endless assortment of personally-prepared trays brimming with picky food such as meat rollups, spanakopita, quiche, assorted cheeses, veggies and deserts. There were also meaningful doors prizes and plenty of them. The event was sponsored by generous donations from noted neighborhood establishments such as Ditkas, McCormick and Schmicks, The Drake, Tails in the City, LPQ, Salon Buzz, Charles Ifregan, Corner Bakery, Big Bowl, Tavern on Rush, Del Friscos, Francesca’s, Rosebud, Starbucks, Hangables, Standard Parking, Lou Malnati’s, and MORE Cupcakes.
As to attendance, word is that 125 residents RSVPed, and as is rare in the event-planning biz, about the same showed. By any measure, for a condo party, it was very well attended.
More importantly, what the event just screamed was handmade, care and good cheer. And that’s not just referring to the Chestnut Room and the attendees being festively adorned. The social committee (Diana Shay, Janet Reece, Monica Shay, Chloe Ifregan and Eileen Berke) personally organized the event and their attention to detail absolutely showed in all regards. They worked hard to impress the guests and it was obviously important to them. If for nothing else, they each get an “A” for the effort.
According to Committee Board Liaison, Diana Shay: “It was a group effort, everyone on the committee contributed equally. Eileen and Janet focused on the raffles and signage and spent countless hours putting the room together. I, along with Monica and Chloe, were up very late the night prior to the party grocery shopping and coming back to the Chestnut Room kitchen to prepare the food and put the trays together. We felt the extra attention to detail was very important and wanted to ensure that all guests had a great time.”
And by the cheerful din and smiles on faces, guests surely did. And the email feedback already has been overwhelmingly positive and congratulatory: “Your first party was such a success!” “Thank you for all your hard work.” “Bravo!” “Writing to reiterate our thanks. Enjoyed the party immensely.” “Nice job!”
WHAT THE PARTY WASN’T – It was not an end to the hostility here at 111. Only two board members were in attendance last night, two and a third if you count real estate broker and 111 insider, Richard Evans. Reportedly, there were a couple not-so-subtle stink eyes thrown about as there were both plaintiffs and defendants there. But to put it in perspective, all and all the hostility seemed equal to, or even a little less than, one might expect today at a gathering of a typical American family around the Holiday Season. 🙂
Which bring us to WHAT IT MIGHT MEAN – In a word, hope, maybe a beginning. According to Diana Shay, “We are hopeful that events like this will put the ill will to rest so that we can focus on making 111 all that it is capable of being.”
And she’s exactly right. Fact is, the issues 111 faces, as this site has chronicled, will require community to solve. And that community needs to be rebuilt. Last night was a wonderful first step. What a nice gift.
Let’s all hope the Christmas truce holds at 111.
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