Behind the Seams with summer intern Stephanie Flint

Hi! I'm Stephanie, a senior at Butler University and the Human Resources intern in the Fort Wayne office. As long as I can remember, I have enjoyed collecting Vera Bradley, and I am extremely excited about this summer. Check back to follow what's happening behind the seams at Vera Bradley!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The lesson of the weekend: "Fight Like a Girl"

What a weekend—full of Vera Bradley Classic events! I kicked off my first full weekend in Fort Wayne with Cocktails on the Court at the Wildwood Racquet Club for a tournament, tennis exhibition, and mingling.

I have never played tennis, but the outfits were definitely making me consider it! Spotted: pink polka-dotted skirts, striped pink polos, and flowered headbands. I think Nike should be calling for some design collaboration offers very soon...

Venus and Serena who?

The action off the court was casual and relaxed... with lots of pink!

Creative Marketing intern Allegra catching a bite to eat.

Looking good in Loves Me...

During every summer’s beach vacation, my family and I go to the local club’s tennis exhibition for some family fun, free lemonade, and door prizes. Multiple that one time a year by twenty-one years of age and I am no stranger to tennis exhibitions! But these guys blew those beach bums out of the water—I could hardly whip my head around fast enough to catch the return hits.

Tennis pros with their loyal bag-carriers.

Foundation VIPs, including Catherine in the middle.

During the event on Friday night, I was lucky enough to meet the Foundation's Executive Director, Catherine Hill. I volunteered to help set up and Catherine set me up with a date, time, place, and job! Despite her being super busy over the weekend and very in-demand, Catherine always said hi and stopped to chat. She was the epitome of "calm and collected" every time I saw her!

On Saturday, I expanded my usual Fort Wayne stomping grounds and went to Sycamore Hills Golf Club to help set up for the silent auction. The driveway from the road to the clubhouse was lined in pink ribbons--a great way to welcome the guests!

The Vera Bradley stone outside of the clubhouse.

What a beautiful place!

The dinner on Saturday night, the tennis celebration dinner, was expected to have around 300 guests. The golf course staff went to work setting the tables in appropriate Vera Bradley style, and I helped with the silent auction items.

I loved getting to get a sneak peek at the items up for auction. There was something for everyone: an autographed Taylor Swift poster, hand knit baby “Ugg” booties, gym memberships, a tool set, and even a dozen-a-month Cookie Cottage package! (I have heard the Cookie Cottage winner is quite pleased!)

Pre-Vera Bradley: the beginning stages.

The Foundation intern Karen (wearing a super cute volunteer shirt) with the silent auction ringmaster, Kris.

"Prettying" the tables.

Furniture was brought in to make the space feel very "Vera Bradley".

Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate with our plans. Saturday morning had several downpours that caused streams and puddles of water inside the tents! Luckily, we were equipped with plenty of brooms and hands to move everything out of the water’s way.

Rain, rain.... go away!

The final table setting!

When the lights went down, the pink came out!

I came back later in the evening for the dinner--all washed, dressed up, and ready to go. The dinner was excellent and the program was even better. First Pat and Barb took the stage and talked to the audience about their friend Mary Sloan, one of their friends who fought breast cancer and became their inspiration for the Vera Bradley Foundation. Barb introduced the audience to Mary Sloan’s daughters who traveled to be able to attend the weekend’s events.

I am very proud to be a part of everything these two ladies have started!!

Beauty and brains: Catherine!

Catherine took the stage and introduced a local high school student who sang "Fight Like a Girl" by Bomshell (to listen, click here). It is such a great song (I downloaded it and have been playing it on repeat...) and the girl did such a good job!

Her singing caused more than a few audience members to tear up...

Dr. Linda Malkas and Dr. Theresa Guise, members of the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research Laboratories, gave the crowd updates on the research occurring at the Indiana School of Medicine in Indianapolis. It is one thing to hear about research from a third party, but another to actually have the involved person telling you their latest news. Even from just listening to their short presentation, their passion was evident.

After the presentation, it was time to hit the dance floor! Urban Legend (from the Foundation concert at Jefferson Pointe a few weeks ago) played such a great variety of songs that it was impossible to sit on the sidelines! I even met Barb on the dance floor--she is a much better dancer than me!

Was this taken during "Single Ladies" or "Love Shack"?

On Monday night, I returned to Sycamore Hills Golf Club for the golf celebration dinner. Same time, same place--but three times the amount of attendees! I helped people find their table assignments, and loved seeing the golf teams walk in... again, in cute outfits! There was a prize for the most creatively dressed team, and it was clear that many were trying to win. I spied bedazzled hats, paisley skirts, and, on the winners, pink (and supposedly high heeled) golf shoes!

The highlight of the evening was definitely the unveiling of the final number. Girls of Foundation friends and family came out with numbered signs arranged to read last year's amount, and then shuffled until they came up with this year's impressive number: $800, 275!

The future of the Foundation helped announce the final amount.

...And the crowd goes wild!

Another personal highlight was the opportunity to meet Michael Jordan's mom! Deloris Jordan is a friend of Pat's and was able to come to the end of the weekend events. Karen met her at another Classic event and very kindly introduced me to her! (She is Kind Karen, after all!)

Mrs. Jordan and Karen

I still can't believe it: I am with Mrs. Jordan and Patricia R. Miller!

It was such a great weekend! It was impossible to leave any of the events without feeling energized and fired up to help in every way possible. On my way home, I called my mom and told her to start looking for a golf foursome and planning a cute outfit... she is coming next year!


  1. The auction even had something for the men: an autographed Taylor Swift poster! Oh and a tool set and gym memberships... But Taylor Swift!