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BACDS Playford Ball 2007

Help Put On the Playford Ball


The Playford Ball is an all-volunteer* production with a large and sociable organizing committee. About one hundred people help put on the ball, doing everything from preparing food to hosting out-of-town guests to cleaning up afterward. To volunteer, send an E-mail to the Volunteer Coordinator, or sign up for one of the specific jobs, below:

The Playford Committee is a group of about a dozen people that meets once a month, year round, to plan and direct the Ball. Committee meetings are usually on second Sundays, in the afternoon, from 2:30 to 6:00 (although the committee may choose a different time or date). Meetings start with a half-hour of socializing and pot-luck food (champagne and chocolate are traditional; and often the Food Chair will bring a sample batch of some new menu item that is being considered). Meetings usually end on time, or even a bit early. There is always room on the committee for more people.

* All-volunteer, that is, except for the paid staff: callers, musicians, and sound techs).

Currently Open Committee Positions:

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The Playford Committee

Next Committee Meeting:

Sunday, March 11, 2007, 11:00 am - 2:30 pm
(Note earlier time: Plan to go straight to the Peninsula workshop afterward. Lunch will be served.)
at the home of Beth and George Mills
3215 Emerson St
Palo Alto, CA 94306

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Job Descriptions

Committee Chair

The Committee Chair is in charge of organizing and running the entire Playford Ball and satellite events, choosing the committee, scheduling meetings, and making sure everything gets done. The appointment of the Committee Chair is subject to the approval of the BACDS Board of Directors.

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Dance Master

The Dance Master chooses the dances and music for the ball, writes the dance instructions, hires the musicians, and generally takes care of organizing the Ball program. The Dance Master is the final authority on how the dances will be done at the ball, and is the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. The Dance Master is chosen from the pool of local English Country Dance callers, by a committee that consists of the local callers, and the past and present Playford committee chairs. The appointment of the Dance Master is subject to the approval of the BACDS Board of Directors.

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After-Party Host

The After-Party Host volunteers to hold the After-Party at his or her home. The After-Party takes place immediately after the Ball, and goes on till whenever.

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Band Pamperer

The Band Pamperer provides a catered meal for the band, Dance Master, and Sound Tech just before the Ball, and after any practice or sound check, and looks after any other errands that they may need run. The workload is entirely concentrated on the day of the ball.

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Booklet Editor

The Booklet Editor prepares and prints the Ball Booklet. This is a specialized job for someone who is very familiar with advanced text processing and booklet pagination (signatures). The bulk of the work happens in October-December), and the booklets need to be ready to be mailed out in January.

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Brunch Host

The Brunch Host volunteers to hold the Playford Brunch at his or her home. The Brunch takes place on the day after the Ball.

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Cleanup Chair

The Cleanup Chair organizes the cleanup and closing of the hall after the Ball. All of the workload is concentrated on the day of the Ball. This is a good job for a late-night person, and works well for a newcomer to the committee.

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Dish Jockey

The Dish Jockey is responsible for lining up the people who are providing plates, serving platters, punch cups, punch bowls, clothes racks, and other accessories. He or she makes sure all this stuff gets to the Ball, and that all of it goes home with the right people at the end. This is a good job for someone who is new to the committee.

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Food Chair

The Food Chair plans the menu for the refreshment break, finds people to volunteer to make each of the dishes, sends them the recipes and information about how much to prepare and so forth, and makes sure the food gets to the Ball. This is a good job for a highly organized person who likes to cook.

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Hall Liaison

The Hall Liason handles all necessary contact between the committee and the management of the hall we are using for the Ball. This is a relatively light workload, but it is important to have one person handling the communications. It is a good idea for a Hall Liaison to continue in the job for a number of years in a row. It also helps for the Liaison to be affiliated with the organization that owns the hall, if possible.

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Hospitality Chair

The Hospitality Chair finds places for out-of-town people to stay when they come to town for the ball. This is a relatively easy job, suitable for a first-time committee member.

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Kitchen Manager

The Kitchen Manager is responsible for managing the kitchen during the Ball. This is a good job for a non-dancer or for an injured dancer, as there is no chance to get out and dance at the Ball.

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The Nametags person is responsible for preparing the Name Tags that are given to each Ball attendee. The workload is intensely focused on the week before the Ball. This well suited for a first-time committee member.

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Publicity Chair

The Publicity Chair is primarily responsible for the flyers that go into the BACDS mailing and appear on tables at dances. The workload is heaviest in October and November, when the Registration flyer goes out.

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The Registrar receives all Ball registration forms, deposits the registration fees in the BACDS bank account, and maintains a roster of Ball registrants. The workload begins in the fall, and grows steadily as the Ball approaches.

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The Secretary records the minutes of Committee meetinga and posts them on the playford-committee E-mail list as soon as possible. The workload is pretty much centered around the meeting times. This is a good job for a newcomer to the committee.

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This person is responsible for making sure that there are enough signs available on the day of the ball to direct people to dressing rooms and other places, and to label the soap dispensers with the Fragrance Free reminders. The workload is pretty much all packed into the month before the Ball. It really helps to have access to a laminator.

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Sound Chair

The Sound Chair is responsible for hiring sound techs, and (if necessary) renting sound equipment for the Ball, the Rehearsal, and the workshops. The Sound Chair may or may not be a Sound Technician, and may or may not hire him or herself for some of the events. The workload depends on whether the Sound Chair actually has to do the sound work at any of the events.

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The treasurer manages the Playford Ball budget and accounts for all income and expenses to the BACDS Treasurer. The treasurer should be a fairly adept spreadsheet user, as the Playford Budget spreadsheet is quite complex. There are two peaks in the workload: preparing the budget in August and September, and preparing the final report in April and May. Otherwise the job is pretty quiet. The appointment of the Treasurer is subject to the approval of the BACDS Board of Directors.

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Volunteer Coordinator

The Volunteer Coordinator should be an outgoing person who gets around to a lot of dances. The workload is heaviest in February and March, leading up to the Ball, and there is a smaller peak in late summer and early fall, filling committee posiitions.

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Web Master

The Web Master needs to be computer-savvy, and familiar with how to create and maintain web pages. The workload begins over the summer, and peaks in October and November, as the committee settles the theme, and the Dance Master chooses the program. This job requires a measure of constant attention, as changes may need to be made to the web site at any time.

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Workshop Manager

The Workshop Manager is in charge of running one of the pre-ball special workshops (or the Ball Rehearsal). It helps for the workshop manager have experience as a dance manager. The workload is relatively light, except for the day of the event.

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Committee Member Without Portfolio

The committee member without portfolio attends committee meetings, helps make decisions, and does whatever odd jobs need doing. This has actually been quite a significant position in the past.

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Decoration Parties

These are work parties scheduled by the Decorations chair to prepare the decorations for the Ball. They usually involve paint, paper, potluck food, and lots of fun.

at the home of Jens and Jody Dill
4682 Ewing Rd.
Castro Valley, CA 94546

Dates and times:
Sunday, February 4, 2007, 1-4 pm. cancelled
Saturday, February 24, 2007, 1-4 pm.

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Help Prepare Food

This is the most common Playford Volunteer job. A food prep volunteer chooses a recipe out of the list prepared by the Food Coordinator, and prepares that dish for the Food Break at the Ball. The time commitment varies depending on the recipe, but count on spending some hours a day or so before the Ball, buying ingredients and preparing food. You can bring the food to the Rehearsal the night before the Ball, or to the hall on the afternoon before the Ball. Save your receipts. You can either be reimbursed from the Ball budget, or write them off as a tax-deductible contribution.

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Host Out-of-Town Guests

The Hospitality Chair will connect you with someone from out of town who is looking for a place to stay, a ride to or from the airport, or whatever. This is an easy and sociable volunteer job.

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Help Set Up the Ball

Setup volunteers arrive at the hall on the afternoon before the Ball (typically at 1:00 pm). They put up decorations, move furniture, and help with whatever other preparation tasks are required. Things usually wrap up around 5 or 6 pm, with a meal of takeout food and a chance to get dressed and ready for the Ball. This is a great way to get a preview of what's happening.

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Clean Up After the Ball

Cleanup Volunteers need to be late-night people. They go to work at 11 pm, when the Ball ends, and generally finish around midnight. Anyone who hangs around after 11:30 is automatically on the Cleanup Committee.

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Last Updated: Sun Jan 4 14:05:46 2009

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