From the first day that I started at the Chamber, there has been one event that has become the centerpiece of my internship: the Annual Dinner. The Annual Dinner is a Chamber-sponsored event in which small businesses around the Luzerne County area enjoy food and take part in recognizing the achievements that they do in diversity, health, charity, and many other notable factors. The dinner is the pinnacle experience of the year and the result of many hours’ worth of hard work by the employees of the Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce.
On the first day that I became an intern at the Chamber, my supervisor Meghan Flanagan told me that the dinner would be one of the many jobs that I would be working with throughout the internship. She told me not to worry though because the main workload for the dinner would not begin until later October to early November.
Time had passed and suddenly the Chamber dove straight into Annual Dinner preparation mode! Many tasks needed to be accomplished before we could move onto the next set of obstacles. It might have been tedious at times, but there was also a certain thrill to working with something that I could impact with my own ingenuity.
The first assignment that I was given was that I had to help Lauren create packets for the Awards Committee to read and decide which businesses would receive which rewards. Each business packet contained the form that Lauren sent out if they wanted to be nominated and an assortment of other forms to notify the Chamber of their credentials. The copy machine seemed to be a never-ending press with the number of pages that needed to be printed. It is a good thing we used different colored papers for certain categories or else it would have taken us even longer to sort and distribute to the board.
The next big task was writing part of the script that would be said when each business received their respective rewards. This was more challenging because what I wrote had to reflect what the business submitted on their credentials. Some of the forms submitted had an abundance of information while some had very little. The challenge was to write as much as it would take to fill the thirty seconds it would take for the business to walk up to the stage and accept the reward. After a few days, I finally finished all the award winners. Meghan was impressed by what I had written and only made a few small changes to the writing. I was excited to think that what I wrote would be said in front of over 600 people.
I was not the only intern with many responsibilities. Gabby and Alison both had the honor of creating ads and other background slides for the dinner. Their work would be displayed in the program booklets handed out and the slideshows that would be running in the background of the dinner. They worked closely with Ahmad to get the right touches for the big night. There were many long days, but Gabby and Alison did a fantastic job in their designs.
The only thing left for Chamber employees to do now is to enjoy the dinner. When I asked Meghan what she planned on doing after it was all over, she said a nice long nap was in order. With all the work the Chamber has been doing, a nap does not sound like a bad idea.