Every year, I get a ticket (this year it was $16.50) to attend this United Way fundraiser. Macy's opens to ticket holders from 6:00 to 10:00 pm, and the whole store is pretty much on sale (except their 'everyday value' items). When you walk in the door, they hand you an additional 20% off card as well - just for that night.
The aisles of the store are set up with tables from local wineries & restaurants, caterers, etc. This year seemed to be mostly dessert (what a shame! lol). There were at least 12 wineries, if not more. Most give you just a small sample in a little cup, but Henry Estate is always more generous - I love Henry's :)
Since I was there at the very beginning, I was able to scope out what was available right off the bat. The tricky bit was actually savoring the wine before I got to the next sample :P I wanted to find the 'real' food before I got into the desserts though. The smoked salmon was awesome, and the parsnip soup was really nice. I got some good sauteed mushrooms and great garlic dip with veggies too.
By that time, my buddy for the evening, Kathe, had found me in the milieu so I took her to the 'real' foods before we got in line for our back massages. :) Kathe filled out silent auction forms for various things while I held her place. I was really relaxed by the end of my supposed-to-be-five-but-went-15 minute massage :)
We then started in on desserts - now we had to wait in the lines, but that's fine - that's why you bring a buddy :) There was a nice ramen soup we hit in the middle of it all, which was very nice, but they'd just run out of tofu. I'll have to look for them earlier next time. Of course, we're still sampling wine while we're getting the desserts...
After we hit Umpqua Ice Cream for Egg Nog & Pumpkin Pie Spice ice cream, I was full. Hee. Now it was time to start shopping!
I typically get socks because, #1 I like nice socks, and #2 they have good ones that last in a great variety. However, with Lee's weight loss this year, I wanted to find him a nice shirt. Well, when I say 'nice' I mean good-quality shirt he can use for work. I found him a long-sleeved polo that usually sells for $38. With the discounts & that 20% off card, it was only $11 & change - :D I also decided to get a sweater for me, because for whatever reason, I don't think I have enough :) My sweater was a different original sale, but same starting price, for $15 & change. Sweet!
As the vendors run out of food & wine, they pack up their stuff & leave. The ones that brought extra are more than happy to give you a hefty sample now, so they can go too. This was the first year I didn't get back to Henry's for the BIG cup of wine :P That's okay though.
The last part of the evening is the drawing from the ticket stubs. When I bought my ticket last Friday, I went to the actual United Way office, and they put my stub right into the rolling see-through bin thing. So I knew my stub was in there for sure. I have never been drawn in the seven years I've been going to this event.
They start off with items you can buy at Macy's - most things are at least $50 in value, but many are about $200. I don't buy perfume, but they looked like nice sets they were giving out. I didn't want any of those though. I like the stuff from housewares or clothing more :)
You do need to be present to win the door prizes, and many people have already left by then. Kathe stuck it out with me and we waited to hear if our names would be called. When the Oregon Ducks hooded sweatshirt & t-shirt came up, I was hoping for that - since Diana is a Duck and it's fun to wear that stuff in Eugene :) No dice. Then they were on the same thing for the Beavers (rival Oregon team). First name - no one claimed it. Second name - no one claimed it. The announcer figured they were all Duck fans and wouldn't step up :P Third name - was ME!!
As I walked up there to claim the shirts, I said, "But my daughter's a DUCK!" The manager turned to me & said, "You can exchange it in the men's section, if you'd like." So I said, "Thanks very much!" and took my prize. Yay!!
Kathe didn't win anything this year - she won the very first year she ever came, and hasn't since. I think I'll make sure she gets her ticket for next year at the United Way office. Worked for me!!