Wine and Dine at Mine


At the first trustee meeting back in November we discussed new ways of raising funds for the charity, with the “Come Dine With Me” style event being the idea which provoked most debate. We discussed how best to organise and run an event, how the scoring and actual fundraising would work, whether we needed props and merchandise, and even argued over what we should call it and how we would abbreviate it!

One thing we all agreed on was that the best way of learning is doing, and so Wine and Dine at Mine (W+D@M) was born, with my friends and I happily acting as guinea-pigs, making up the rules as we went along. Skye and I hosted the first Sunday lunch in January, followed by James and Heidi, and rounded off by Ollie, Ale and Isabelle last Sunday.

How we did it

The original plan was for each of us, in turn, to invite the others for Sunday lunch. Instead of scoring the meal, guests would donate a sum of money that they thought reasonable given the effort made by the host, with the eventual winner being the hosts whose event raised the most money. This plan was quickly scuppered by James “it’s for charity so I’d donate the same amount even if they served us McDonald’s” Boyle transferring cash to my account the day before Skye’s and my dinner party. Instead we decided that, in addition to donating money, we would score each meal so that we could determine a winner. This quickly fell by the wayside as no one could be bothered to come up with an un-gameable scoring system – the joys of being friends with a mathemagician and a mathlete – and so we fell back on the old adage that “charity’s the winner”. With three dinner parties, excellent food, wine and company, and £900 raised for THE CATS FOUNDATION, I think that we agreed that everyone was a winner!

Skye Habermann, Llywelyn ap Gwilym, Alethea Taylor, Heidi Gallagher, James Boyle, Ollie Taylor and Isabelle Taylor (L to R)

How you should do it

So how should future W+D@Ms be run? In a nutshell – however you want them to be run. What was most obvious to me was that despite the best laid schemes of mice and men, the event ran itself in the most appropriate way for my group of friends and me, which is not necessarily the most appropriate way for everyone. We didn’t need any merchandise as I’ve badgered everyone sufficiently that they are all au fait with my god-daughter Amelie, Tay-Sachs, the charity and its aims. You may be different – you may want wristbands, pin badges, information on the charity etc. If so we can provide it! We didn’t need a winner as we were all happy enough to have just enjoyed a few Sunday afternoons in the company of friends, raising something as we did so, without a competitive edge. Again, you may be different. You could crown the winner as the person who hosted the most enjoyable event, or as the person who added most value – turning £10 of ingredients into a £30-worth meal, say – or in any other way that you can determine. It doesn’t really matter.

The only “rule” is this: invite some friends around for lunch or dinner, have fun, and raise some money in the process. The rest is up to you!

Once you have finished your W+D@M dinners you can donate the money raised to THE CATS FOUNDATION in many different ways (e.g. bank transfer, through JustGiving, by cheque etc.). For more information on this please view our Donate Now page here which lists all of our donation methods.

Who can I contact for more information

If you want to host a W+D@M evening and would like more information get in touch using the contact us form. We can send you any charity merchandise and also a brief overview of how the evening could be run.

Once you have finished your W+D@M dinners please send a photo of you and your guests to dan@cats-foundation. Also, if you can send in a short overview of how each dinner went then we can get this onto the charity website.


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