How it all started
My husband, Mike, and I planned and hosted the first Butterfly Ball in October 2013 to celebrate his sister Lisa Marie’s 10th anniversary of her passing. To honor her memory we created the Lisa Marie Muccilo Foundation and donated the $25,000 raised during our first Butterfly Ball to Young Survival Coalition.
Lisa Marie was diagnosed at 27 years old with aggressive breast cancer. She started working with YSC, helping many young women get through their diagnosis and treatment while facing breast cancer herself. She became a Young Survival Coalition Board Member, Outreach and Education Committee Co-Chair and founded the YSC of New Jersey, which was an affiliate office at the time.
Lisa Marie was a beautiful, loving and compassionate person who was taken from us much too soon on August 18, 2003 at 33 years old. Her passion to help young women with breast cancer inspired us to create the Butterfly Ball and is our way of honoring her while supporting YSC.
From Start to Finish – How to Host a Ball
Believe it or not, Mike and I did most of the work for the first Butterfly Ball. We still plan much of it ourselves and have expanded the event in the last three years. We certainly believe anyone can plan an event like the Butterfly Ball. Here’s some advice if you want to plan a big party, whether it’s to honor someone, celebrate a cancerversary or just have fun while supporting YSC:
Explore your connections.
– Our first Save the Date and invitation were designed by an awesome local YSC volunteer. This year, Mike had a colleague design the Save the Date postcard and invitation, which we had printed through another connection we had.
– A friend’s band performs and provides the entertainment at the ball.
Host the event in a place you’re familiar with.
– We held the event at the North Jersey Country Club, which we were members of. This made the planning much easier for us.
Ask for help and use volunteers.
– We use volunteers to help us stuff and prepare the invitations to send out.
– Friends and family donate items for the Silent Auction.
Make it easy for people to be generous at your event.
– Besides the Silent Auction, we host a 50/50 raffle, where the winner receives half of the money and the other half is donated.
– We use electronic squares to process credit card donations on site that go directly into our LMM Foundation account.
Keep it simple.
– We have a buffet dinner to make things easier for people.
– In 2013, the event was much smaller with just those who were closest to us. Each year we expand the Butterfly Ball and guests keep coming back to enjoy themselves and support YSC.
A huge thank you to YSC Champion Lise Muccilo for sharing how the Butterfly Ball started and some guidance on how to create your own fundraising event to support young women affected by breast cancer.
If you’re interested in starting an event like the Butterfly Ball in honor or celebration of someone who has benefited from YSC’s programs and resources, reach out to us! We’re here to help from start to finish and every step in between.
For more resources and other great ideas for DIY fundraising events, click here.