Loanables - Page 2 of 8 - Helping save the planet

Art Bra Austin 2018 – Meet a Model

She always looks this gorgeous.

Like most moms, I’m the last one to get ready to go somewhere because I have to get everyone else ready first. This often results in me showing up to school events with a ponytail, blue jeans and flip flops. I’m always in awe of the moms that are beautifully put together: hair, makeup and gorgeous clothes. Carolyn Skyles is one of these moms. To top it off she had an amazing career as a real estate agent in Austin for over 15 years.

I’ve gotten to know her because she is one of the leaders of my daughter’s Daisy Scout troop. Now until this year, that title would not have meant all that much to me. But, oh my gosh – I thank myself every time we have a meeting that I didn’t volunteer for this position. It requires a TON of prep work plus it’s like herding 25 kittens and getting them to do crafts during the meetings.

You’ve got the picture now – put together, successful, great mom and giving of her time. You would probably look at her and think: “she has nothing to worry about.” Well, what I didn’t know until fairly recently was that a few years ago Carolyn’s life was far from “perfect” when she was going through a divorce at the same time as she was dealing with breast cancer.

While she had an incredible support system of loving friends and family, she still felt extremely overwhelmed especially right after her diagnosis because she really didn’t know any other women in her age group who had been treated for breast cancer. One day she received a call from a patient navigator at BCRC (Breast Cancer Resource Center). This woman (who is also a breast cancer survivor) was reaching out to offer support, guidance, answer questions, and introduce her to the Pink Ribbon Cowgirls, an amazing support group of other breast cancer patients and survivors in Austin. Carolyn said finding out about this group did so much for her because she was then able to connect with and learn about the experiences of other women to whom she could actually relate.

 

Art Bra Austin 2018

Because of her gratitude and appreciation for the BCRC, Carolyn is inspired to give back to this organization that does so much for women battling breast cancer.  She is one of the 40 models at Art Bra Austin 2018. “Art Bra Austin is a fully costumed, professionally produced runway show and auction to raise funds to support local women affected by breast cancer.” Additionally, she has a fundraising page where anyone can donate money to help support the BCRC.

The event is June 2, 2018 at the JW Marriott. I haven’t been to the event yet, but I’ve talked to several that have, and the consensus is that it is amazing to see all of the art and also very fun. I’m a multitasker so I love when I can have a great night out with my husband and also give to a great cause.

 

 

 

I was wrapping up this blog when I found this video, which captures another client’s story. I had to share it (get your tissue out!)

If you can’t attend the event, you can donate to Carolyn’s personal fundraising page here or directly to BCRC.

 

Calculating Dance Floor Size + Average prices in Austin

Dance Floor

Is it truly a “party” without a dance floor?!? I don’t think so. The most fun I’ve had at events (some embarrassing) have be on the dance floor – either dancing or just watching. It’s great entertainment, but you can’t just call a rental company and say “I want a dance floor.” You have to know what you want to get the best quote.

On the chart below, I’m giving you an estimate. For the average party, you can expect that the most amount of people on the dance floor at a given time is around 30 – 40%. Now, there are exceptions to every rule. When I was 23, my life long friend, Claire, got married. She had 10 attendants and most of the guests were in their 20s. For that party, a lot more than 40% were dancing (some even on stage with the band – I won’t name names ;-). Contrast that to my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary: I bet less than 10% were dancing.  (I got the honor of dancing with my grandfather so I was glad they had it there: dance floors make the best memories).

For each person, you need approximately 4 square feet. The chart below is an oversimplification and here’s why: the dance floors typically come in 3×3 or 3×4 sections. Therefore, you can’t get the exact number of square feet you need; you will have to adjust based on how many sections you end up getting. (Pro Tip: just email info@loanables.com, and we’ll figure it out for you  for free).

Dance Floor Size Estimator

Guests Dancing Square Feet Price
100 40 160 $240
150 60  240 $360
200 80  320 $480
250 100  400 $600
300 120  480 $720
400 160  640 $960
500 200  800 $1200
1000 400  1600 $2400
1500 600  2400 $3600

Note: these are prices without delivery fees, and most of the rental companies will require that they deliver and professionally install for liability purposes. Standard delivery fees will vary dramatically based on location, but you can expect them to be  around $75 each way or $150 total. You can easily double that amount if the pick up has to happen after hours (for example after the event ends at night or on Sunday).

Types of Dance Floors

In my chart above, I used an average square foot price of $1.50 per square foot (this is for the commonly used, light wood floor). There are many different types of dance floors with a wide range of prices. This chart will give you the average prices of popular types of floors:

Type Avg. Cost Per Sq. Ft.
Light Wood Dance Floor $1.50 LIght wood dance floor
Vintage Wood Dance Floor $1.75 vintage wood dance floor
Solid White, Solid Black or Checkered

Dance Floor

$2 checkered dance floor
Halographic Dance Floor $2.75 Halographic dance floor
LED Dance Floor $14  LED Dance floor

I hope this helps you with your party planning. Here are a couple of other relevant blogs I’ve written:

Event Tents: Types, Sizes and Prices

Table Sizes and Seating: How Many People Will Fit?!?

Types of Rental Chairs and Average Prices

What Size Linen Fits My Table?

How much does it cost to rent table place settings?

Party Drink Calculator: How Much Alcohol Do I Need?

Let me know what you think or what other topics you’d like me to cover.

Dance Floor

SassTass & The Pour Horse

Mobile bars are all the rage. From airstreams to horse trailers, party throwers and goers across the US are choosing bars on wheels for their next big event. Here in central Texas, Tassie Grantham is making a big splash with her mobile horse trailer bars.

The idea for horse trailer bars came to Tassie in October 2016.  She woke up one morning and was determined to buy a horse trailer.  Why?  Because she lived in Texas and in Texas people want horse trailers!  She bought her first horse trailer that very day and began to customize it to be her first mobile bar.  Today, Tassie is owner of SassTass & the Pour Horse, Mobile Bars, LLC and has a couple of horse trailer bars as well as other portable bar options and her business is booming!

SassTass Mobile Bars and Bartending Services

If you are looking for a unique bar option, fantastic bartending service, or food service staff for your wedding, charity event, or other big party, look no further. SassTass & The Pour Horse has a variety of mobile bars, portable bars, and bartending and food service for hire and even create signature cocktails and offer to personalize the service to make your event extra special.

When it comes to mobile bars, SassTass has a few options:

The Pour Horse
– this charming converted 1975 King horse trailer has vintage charm and becomes a talking point at any event. The Pour Horse rental includes 1 bartender to service your guests.

 

 

 

 

Whinny, The Mini Bar – a 1938 one horse horse trailer renovated and converted into a bar with wood panels on the side, wood bar tops, a canvas roof and really cool lighting. Whinny can also be a coffee or dessert bar

 

 

 

 

 

 


Beelavish “The Laurel Traveler”
– the Laurel Trailer is a Glamping Style Vintage Camper Bar owned by Bee Lavish in Spring Branch, TX.  SassTass & The Pour Horse has partnered with Bee Lavish to offer your favorite cocktails and bar tending service in this really great camper.  It is a slightly different look and feel than a horse trailer bar giving you yet another option for your event than the other mobile bars.

In addition, SassTass has portable bar options, a vintage tea cart, and just standard bartending service. So, no matter what your needs, SassTass is a great option to provide cocktails and food service for your next event.

What should I serve?

If you need some cocktail ideas for your event, how about a Skinny version of a Texas classic to go with the Texas trailers? My favorites are these Easy Skinny Mojitos with all the flavor and none of the sugar found in most mojitos. Serving them in mason jars makes them even more fun.

Easy Skinny Mojito Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Juice of one lime
  • 6 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 oz of white rum
  • 12 oz of diet lemon lime soda (Diet 7UP or Sprite Zero

Instructions:

  1. Divide the mint leaves and lime juice between two glasses.
  2. Add 1 oz of rum to each glass and muddle (use the back of a spoon to mush everything up)
  3. Add a little ice, top with the soda, and stir to combine.

For a light and delicious appetizer, you might try sliced garlic toast with a smear of cream cheese, roasted red pepper, and a slice of cucumber. These go great with the mojitos and are easy finger foods for guests.

No matter what you serve, Tassie Grantham and her team of TABC certified bartenders and insured food handlers and service staff are there to make your event go off without a hitch with a ton of Texas charm.

So, what are you waiting for?  Book SassTass & the Pour Horse for your next event today!

 

Behind the Scenes: SFC’s 11th Annual Farm to Plate

Ronda Rutledge has something everyone wants: a job she she is truly passionate about. She is the Executive Director at the Sustainable Food Center (SFC). I sat down and had coffee with her at Bennu Coffee (they only serve fair-trade coffee and locally sourced food). She’s one of those people that you just immediately love – she’s warm and friendly with a very relaxed manner. She’s the kind of person you just want to hug (even if you aren’t a hugger).

Ronda’s passion for farming is in her DNA. She comes from a long line of farmers dating back to the Cherokees in the Carolinas. Her grandfather 5 generations back was part of the Cherokee Nation that signed the treaty with the federal government that led to the removal of the Trail of Tears (the forced relocation of Native Americans out of their ancestral homelands). When her family was forced to move west, they relocated to Oklahoma, now the seat of the Cherokee Nation. The chief was very angry that the treaty was signed; so, all involved were put on a hit list. To protect his family, her grandfather (5 generations ago) moved to Texas.

They settled in east Texas, but farming in Texas is very different than farming in the Carolinas. Her family had to learn new ways to grow their food. The idea of food sovereignty has been passed down through the generations and is engrained in the way Ronda thinks. “Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.” A major component of that is sustainability and making sure future generations have this same right.

Check out this video from National Geographic about why sustainable food systems matter:

SFC serves the Austin community in 4 ways:

  1. The Grow Local program serves to educate the community. They also provide resources and have has a hand in the majority of the community gardens around town.
  2. The Farm Direct program promotes access to fresh, healthy food via a network of farmer’s markets.
  3. The Happy Kitchen offers community cooking and nutrition education classes. (Note to food lovers: you can have private events here!)
  4. Farmers Markets – they operate one downtown on Guadalupe and another one at the Tony Burger Center in Sunset Valley. Both are on on Saturdays from 9am – 1pm. I’ve gone to both, and always enjoy it and think “I should do this more often”). I usually eat breakfast while I’m there, bring home lunch for my family, and get fresh fruits and vegetables for the week.

I highly encourage you to take a tour of their 4-star rated green energy office and community space. They even serve you lunch, but be sure to RSVP.

 

I love non-profits that couple fundraising with amazing events, and the annual Farm to Plate event is definitely at the top of this list. “This sip-and-stroll event features bites from the best Austin chefs who are dedicated to sourcing local and sustainable food from our area farmers. Farm to Plate also features local artisan cocktails, local wines and beers, live music, and a silent auction on the beautiful indoor/outdoor grounds of Barr Mansion.” You must check out the list of amazing chefs that will be serving during the event (Sway, Fixe, Uchi, Wu Chow and many other amazing chefs will be there).  It’s a great place to check out all of the hot spots in town!

The event is Wednesday, May 9 at Barr Mansion. General admission tickets are $300 and VIP tickets are $500.

 

Behind the Scenes: Ballet Austin Guild Afternoon Tea

The Ballet Austin 2017-18 season concludes on Mother’s Day weekend with the final performance of Peter Pan. Just two weeks before, Ballet Austin Guild will celebrate with “An Afternoon in Neverland” Sunday Tea at the Driskill Hotel. This annual event sold out last year so don’t delay– gather your mothers, daughters and girlfriends to take part. We spoke with Ballet Austin Guild President, Suzanne Mackowiak to learn more about this year’s event and her passion for supporting Ballet Austin through the Guild.

Meet Suzanne Mackowiak, President of Ballet Austin Guild

Suzanne grew up in a small town in East Texas and given the size and location, there was not consistent access to formal training. Ballet, tap and jazz instructors would move in and out of town leaving gaps for the group of girls who practiced there. Her mother knew that having physical, regimented activity could have huge impact on physical development through experience with Suzanne’s older sister. After carrying her for 10 full months, she was born with a crooked foot. Her mother noticed quickly that regular ballet instruction and practice was working to straighten her foot. Fast forward to Suzanne’s childhood, when instructors were not available in their small East Texas town, the group of mothers would take turns piling all the girls into their cars and carpooling to the nearest large city to keep the ballerinas progressing in their skills.

Suzanne learned grace, discipline and teamwork through her ballet training and credits her mother’s commitment for the adventure they took together, leading to lifelong friendships. One of those friends and her mother attended last year’s Ballet Austin Guild Afternoon Tea and will be attending again this year.

In her day job, Suzanne works at the Capitol focusing on Veterans, military and border security policy. She is busy in and out of session but still maintains time for Ballet Austin Guild as well as participating as an active member of Junior League of Austin. Her husband, Matt, is a political pundit, Chairman of Travis County GOP and founder of Potomac Strategy Group.

Ballet Austin Guild

Ballet Austin Guild is an all-volunteer organization whose purpose is to support Ballet Austin in a variety of ways. They provide educational programming for elementary-aged children through school shows during the Holiday season performances of The Nutcracker, as well as docent services in which Guild members go out to area schools and teach about classical ballet. The Guild is also the largest annual non-governmental donor to Ballet Austin, providing funds for youth scholarships for those who would not otherwise be able to afford classical dance instruction. Read the fascinating story of Orlando Canova, a current Ballet Austin Company Dancer who received a similar scholarship at the School of American Ballet. Without these funds, Ballet Austin would miss out on the opportunity to work with some very talented dancers.

Ballet Austin Guild has an open membership, so you can join and get started anytime by attending a general meeting. They will happily introduce you to the group and find how you want to serve with them. Meetings happen all over town as the membership is spread out. Suzanne has been part of the Guild for about five years, serving as President this year and VP of Fundraising Events in 2016-17. This year’s event, has about 15 members actively involved with a mix of fundraising and planning depending on each member’s interest and talents. Suzanne explained that often people surprise themselves when they get involved, as in the case of one member who said she didn’t want to be responsible for soliciting donations. One day, spur of the moment she asked a business owner if they would donate a pearl necklace and after that one success, knocked down businesses left and right ultimately bringing in thousands of dollars worth of donations for the event. 

Suzanne emphasized that we don’t realize how special it is to have ballet, symphony and opera (the big three) in a city like Austin. It takes funds to keep Ballet Austin among the top companies in the country, so the Guild seeks to raise about $60,000 through the annual event and raises additional funds through managing the Gift Barre at Nutcracker Holiday shows. But the volunteer hours are just as important. Last season, Ballet Austin Guild totaled 5,427 volunteer hours which is the equivalent of 2 full time employees and 1 part time employee. 

An Afternoon in Neverland

The annual tea follows the theme of the final performance of Ballet Austin’s 2017-18 season, an is appropriately named An Afternoon in Neverland. The event will have an open format, providing time to visit with girlfriends or family, to enjoy a traditional tea menu while sipping on tea, juice and champagne. There will also be live music, a photo booth and costumes to entertain guests. This event is appropriate for all ages and families are encouraged to bring multiple generations to enjoy the afternoon together. Goody bags will be available to entertain younger guests and word on the street is there may be some stiff competition to beat out Ann Downing’s family hats from last year! So don’t be shy, go all out and make special memories with those you love. You never know, you just might find this to be your perfect Mother’s Day tradition!

Behind the Scenes: Austin Diaper Bank Bash

Meet Nicole LeFave

The last thing Nicole LeFave needed to do upon her return from maternity leave was to add more responsibility to her plate. She already had a full time job as a civil litigation attorney and now had a newborn baby boy to add to the mix. But she heard through the Austin Bar Association that Austin Diaper Bank was specifically looking for attorneys to join the board of directors, and Nicole was drawn to the opportunity to use her legal skills to give back to the Austin community. As a new mom, she was surprised to learn that diapers are often seen as a luxury for many in the Austin area. How could it be that something so basic and necessary for an infant and young child could also be such a struggle to access? As she learned more, she knew she wanted to get involved to help further the mission of Austin Diaper Bank. When we asked her how she does it all she explained that her type A personality means that she is actually more productive when she has more to do. If there is only a limited time, you just have put your head down and get to work!

One of the needs that became apparent after she joined the board was spearheading the planning of Austin Diaper Bank’s first annual Bash. This event will raise critical funds for continuing the mission of ADB and provide a benchmark for the event’s fundraising goals in future years. Ironically, Nicole had helped planned a special fundraising event at her firm before the courthouse bond election and found it to be both fun and rewarding. So when ADB endeavored to create a first annual fundraising event, Nicole was up for the challenge!

Austin Diaper Bank Bash

This year’s event will take place at the iconic South Congress Hotel on Friday, April 13th. Guests will celebrate with drinks and bites (from the same kitchen that services the hotel’s popular Café No Sé.) The hip and chic vibe of South Congress will be the perfect setting for board members to mingle with guests so they can learn more about the needs in Austin. There will be a great silent auction including unique experiences like a week-long vacation at a home in Idaho and 4 tickets to see Diana Krall at ACL Live. A photobooth and DJ will keep the evening fun and exciting. Grab your tickets here!

Other Ways to Participate

There are many donor & volunteer opportunities with Austin Diaper Bank. Nicole shared that donating diapers is one of the easiest and most needed contributions. Even opened packages are accepted so if your little one has just graduated to the next size, or you didn’t use all of the swim diapers last summer, please send those along. Drop-off locations are all over the city including central places like the Whole Foods parking lot downtown on 6th & Lamar. To maximize your contribution, consider hosting a diaper drive. Nicole asked for diapers in lieu of gifts for her son’s 1st birthday. What a great way to give in an easy way and not acquire extra, unnecessary things for a child who isn’t old enough to appreciate them!

If you want a hands on experience, volunteer to wrap, package and distribute diapers at the warehouse. Nicole’s son, Nathan, had his first volunteer experience in the family-friendly space after Hurricane Harvey hit the gulf coast. With age-appropriate tasks, ADB makes it easy for even the youngest volunteer to make an impact in Austin. Think about the groups you know that look for different opportunities like this. It would be perfect for girl scout troops, a church small group, or a family service project.

And finally, Austin Diaper Bank maintains an Amazon wishlist of specific items of the highest need. Fill up your cart and have them delivered directly to ADB. It doesn’t get any more hassle-free than that.

Grab your tickets for Austin Diaper Bank Bash by clicking the button above! And let us know about the event you are planning so we can feature your organization next.

Table Sizes and Seating: How Many People Will Fit?!?

72 round inch table with 12 chairs

72 inch table with 12 chairs. Note: these are not formal place settings with chargers

If you are like me, it is almost impossible to figure out how many people can actually sit at a table comfortably without bringing in the guests and trying it out. Below is a chart to help you with your planning.

Table Sizes and Seating: How Many People Will Fit?!?

Table Size Number of People Layout Average Price
6 Foot Rectangle Table (72″x30″) 6-8 $7.50
8 Foot Rectangle Table (96″x30″) 8-10 $8.00
36 Inch (3 foot) Round Table 4 36in Table with 4 chairs $8.00
48 Inch (4 foot) Round Table 6-8 48 inch table with 6 chairs $8.00
60 Inch (5 foot) Round Table 8-10 60in Table with 8 Chairs $8.00
72″ (6 foot) Round Table 10-12 72 inch table with 10 chairs $12.00

When you are looking at this and other charts online, you will see a range for the number of people that will fit. It irritates me when I’m looking for an answer and find a range; I just want someone to give me the exact answer. Even though I know it’s annoying, I had to do it because it really depends on your preference. There is no right answer.

Here are some rules of thumb:

  • If your guests will be seating for long periods of time (like for a formal dinner), go with the smaller number of people (for example, only put 8 at a 60 inch round). You will need the extra space for the formal table settings. You also want your guests to have some elbow room and servers to have room to deliver plated meals.
  • If you choose bulky chairs or chairs with arms, you have to go with the the smaller number or the chairs won’t fit.
  • If kids will be sitting at the table, you can definitely go with the bigger number of chairs (you may even be able to add more).
  • If your guests will need to turn their chairs to view a stage or something else, go with less chairs or it will be nearly impossible for everyone to move their chair as needed.
  • If you use the higher number on the rectangle tables, you cannot push all of the chairs completely under the table.

 

Other things to consider when you are choosing a table:

  • You want to have 24″ of aisle between tables. To compensate for chairs, round tables should be set 54 inches apart, and rectangle tables should be set 60 inches apart.
  • The 72 inch table has a huge space in the middle so you need a wider centerpiece. (Note on centerpieces: keep centerpieces below eye level or less than 12 inches tall.  If you want to use a tall centerpiece, keep it slim so it doesn’t interfere with the guests’ view of each other. Check out this article on flower costs for some great tips for DIY centerpieces.)
  • The 72 inch table is so large that it is hard for people to talk across. (This is fine for louder events where people are really only going to talk to the people on either side of them.)
60 inch round table with 10 chairs

60 inch round table with 10 chairs

  • The 60 inch round is the most commonly used table. You can fit the most people in a space with this table (unless you want to go banquet style with rectangle tables lined up together).

Banquet style with rectangle tables

Non-standard Tables

There are all sorts of tables available for your event (farm tables, picnic tables, vineyard tables etc.). Get the dimensions of the table you are considering and compare it to the chart to figure out how many people will fit. Or, if you want to make it really easy, just email us at info@loanables.com and we will talk it through with you.

I hope this helps you with your party planning. Here are a couple of other relevant blogs I’ve written:

Types of Rental Chairs and Average Prices

What Size Linen Fits My Table?

How much does it cost to rent table place settings?

Let me know what you think or what other topics you’d like me to cover.

Meet Fancy Fluff

Fancy Fluff has reinvented that timeless treat we all remember from days at the county fair, school carnival or friend’s birthday party: cotton candy. While classic sugar spinning techniques may not have changed much, the ingredients that comprise the perfect swirl of cotton certainly have. No longer must we accept the refined sugars and artificial flavors from the past, because Jessica Halich has created the same nostalgic feeling with modern ingredients like organic sugar and natural flavors.

And the flavors have certainly received an upgrade. Options like bourbon maple and jalapeno provide a unique tasting opportunity for adults, while classic flavors like strawberry, butterscotch and creamsicle please party-goers of all ages!

Jessica began honing her sugar spinning skills back in high school. It didn’t take long for her become lead spinner, running the cotton candy machine at every school event. But she didn’t take note of the business potential until years later, when she attended a birthday party with her own children. She saw that cotton candy had remained virtually unchanged all those years later, and knew she had an opportunity to modernize the classic treat. Using her business skills and creativity previously directed toward event production, Jessica created Fancy Fluff and now pleases Austin palettes at Mitzavahs, galas and corporate events all year long.

Fancy Fluff has always offered live sugar spinners for your event, creating not just classic cones, but also themed-inspired shapes like Troll hair for birthday parties and bunny shapes for Easter! And now, they’ve added a new way for adults to enjoy this fancy treat. Fancy Fluff now delivers the perfect Friday treat, dropping off 50 tubs of their delectable flavors to enjoy at your office! The total package is $175 and includes delivery in the Austin area. Celebrate the end of the week with some sweet fluffiness!

Want to win a cotton candy office party for yourself? Enter to win here. Your coworkers will thank you!

 

 

 

Types of Rental Chairs

When I planned a party for my parents, I needed to rent tables and chairs. Until then, I never knew how many different types were available to rent. Today, I respond, every day to requests for chair rentals; and most people don’t have an exact type of chair in mind when they first start the party planning process.  If you’re planning an event, I hope this helps you narrow down your options.

Most Common Types of Chairs Rented for Events

Type Avg. Price
Stackable, light weight, folding chair $1.75
Resin or Wood Chair with Pad $3.00
Chiavari Chair $7.00

 

In the first category, the stackable, light weight folding chairs, you will generally find either poly or alloy chairs at every rental company. These are the least least expensive chairs you can rent:

  1. A poly chair is made from polypropylene, a type of plastic.  
  2. An alloy chair is made by mixing two elements, one of which is a metal. The alloy is a little more sturdy than the poly.

You will also hear these chairs called Samsonite chairs, but that is just a brand name (same company that makes the luggage). It’s confusing because Samsonite makes plastic and metal chairs.

These stackable, light weight folding chairs range from $1 each to $2 each and generally come in black, charcoal or white. When you find some for $1, make sure to ask about the condition of the chair. If you are looking for a white chair, it is also important to ask about any discoloration.

The second category is the Resin or Wood chair. These are more sturdy than the poly or alloy chairs, and they usually come with a cushion so they are more comfortable as well. You will also hear these referred to as garden or wedding chairs. Most rental companies offer these in white, black, and a wood color and they run about $3/chair.

The Chiavari chair is also known as a Chiavarina; it was created by an Italian cabinet maker in 1807. Most rental companies carry these in several different colors including white, black, gold, silver and wood. These are the most expensive, about $7/chair but they make an elegant addition to your event décor.

Other options

Some people will use chair covers with the options above or with a conference chair.These chairs have thick padding because they are made for people sitting long periods of time. The average price to rent these is $4.

Chair covers range from about $3 – $6. I usually recommend going with the elegant chiavari chair over spending so much on chair covers, but it does depend upon the theme and style of the event.

I’ve gone over the most common chairs that are rented, but there are many other chairs available as well including barstools, ghost chairs, king and queen chairs, antique chairs, kids chairs, high chairs, etc. If it’s available to rent in Austin, Loanables has access to it. We work with over 200 rental companies in the Austin area so we can find the best options and pricing for your event. The best part is you pay the same price that you would if you went directly to the rental company, because rental companies pay us a commission for bringing them so much business.

Here are a couple of other relevant blogs I’ve written:

Table Sizes – How Many People will Fit?

What Size Linen Fits My Table?

How much does it cost to rent table place settings?

Let me know what you think or what other topics you’d like me to cover.

 

Email info@loanables.com if you need help finding chairs for your event or just want general advice on event rentals.  We are always happy to help.

 

 

Behind The Scenes – Explore Austin’s 2018 Quest for the Summit

Anna and Jason Herd are passionate about helping kids and about the outdoors. So, it’s no wonder that in 2009 when they learned about Explore Austin from one of Jason’s business school professors who was also one of the organization’s founders, they had to get involved. Originally a host family, Anna and Jason have been involved in Explore Austin for the last 9 years. Jason joined their Board of Directors in 2016, and this year, the couple is chairing the organization’s big spring fundraiser, Quest for the Summit.

I sat down with the Herds to learn more about Explore Austin, their involvement, and the upcoming Quest for the Summit.

Mentorship and the Great Outdoors

Coming from outdoorsy families, both Anna and Jason felt that spending time outside and having strong mentorship in their lives was really important to them as children and played a critical role in who they are today. Growing up, Anna remembers: spending weekends and summers driving 4 wheelers;  joining her dad on timber cruises on a lush family property in Mississippi full of wildlife; living in the mountains of Costa Rica (where she had to walk down the road to buy groceries from a local farmer); and doing Sail Caribbean a couple of summers in a row.

Jason grew up in a ranching family and spent his weekends hunting, fishing, working cattle, and fixing fences. He also was the first of his peer group to achieve Eagle Scout. Both of them say that they had excellent mentorship and a support system of family and friends that helped shape them and allowed them to excel. Jason said “You don’t get to Eagle Scout without strong mentorship. My dad was very influential and he wouldn’t let me get my driver’s license until I did it.”

These days, the couple and their two young sons love the outdoors and take advantage of any opportunity to be hiking, camping, skiing, doing sports, or anything out in nature. They try to include an outside component to any family vacation. During our conversation, Jason commented that his father was a successful entrepreneur but was always there for the important events and both he and Anna want to do the same for their boys. They would also like to provide this mentorship and these outdoor opportunities to as many kids as possible.

Explore Austin

Explore Austin is providing both these outdoor experiences and long term mentorship to children who might otherwise not have these things.

Founded in 2006, the organization was put together to test a model of mentoring and outdoor adventure for underserved youth. They approached one of the local Kipp charter schools and essentially took a group of boys (Explorers) on a camping trip. Since then, the program has grown to around 270 Explorers and 90 Mentors with a mission to change the lives of underserved youth through leadership, mentoring, and adventure.

Each spring, Explore Austin recruits 2 new teams (one 6th grade boys team and one 6th grade girls team) primarily from schools where most kids qualify for free or reduced lunch and pairs each team of 15 youth with 5 adult mentors. They then provide these youth with leadership training, long term mentors and outdoor experiences. Both the explorers and their mentors spend one Saturday per month outside in Austin hiking, mountain biking, bouldering, canoeing, etc. In addition, they spend a week in the summer somewhere in the backcountry in Texas or states like Wyoming, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas, or New Mexico on a much more challenging outdoor wilderness adventure. This is the first time many of these kids have been on an airplane, lived out of backpacks, and faced physically and mentally challenging activities.

The program is 6 years in duration and the Explorers and Mentors are asked to make a long term commitment. Currently, they have over a 90% Mentor retention rate and close to that for the Explorers. An unintended outcome has been that most, if not all, of these kids end up applying for and being accepted to college, something many of their parents have not accomplished.

2018 Quest for the Summit

The organization would love to expand it’s reach and add more teams in the next few years as the outcome for these students are tremendous. In order to do this and to support the existing program, they are holding the 9th Annual Quest for the Summit on April 5th at Fair Market. The fundraising goal for this event is $230k  and close to 300 guests are expected for a night filled with music, food, drinks and outdoor games like corn hole and washers. The night will be more relaxed than a typical fundraising event and attendees will have the opportunity to mingle with other guests, Explorers, Mentors, and Explore Staff to learn more about the organization and how they can get involved. Explorers will share their stories and there will be opportunities to support the program and even participate in a mystery raffle for a Yeti filled with all sorts of fun supplies. Prior to the Quest, there will be a graduation ceremony honoring all graduating senior Explorers and their Mentors for six years of dedication.

It will definitely be a night not to miss and a wonderful opportunity to learn even more about an organization that is clearly making such a big difference in the lives of underserved youth in the Austin community.

If you would like to sponsor the event or purchase tickets for this year’s Quest for the Summit, you can do so Here.