Thanks to Carol Ann C. from CA for sharing this great evening!
EVENING OF EXCELLENCE
Our Evening of Excellence was focused around this year’s theme as well as Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Gospel.
We wanted the evening to be spiritual and to allow each of our young women to be highlighted and “Shine” for the evening.
Our Invitations were made from vellum and cardstock and we chose to use a sepia-tone for the pictures and writing and the cardstock was crème in color. We added a gold-tone or bronze color ribbon wrapped from the inside to the front of the card; in the center fold and had the bow on the outside of the card. We added a bronze heart to the ribbon bow, tied on with clear thread that sat in the center knot of the bow. The bronze heart read: “Made with Love”. It gave it the touch that was needed to set the tone for the evening.
Our Decorations were all in sepia tones, darker brown, crème and white.
We had one of our Laurels, as one of her Value Projects, take pictures of all our Young Women with her digital camera. The young women were all asked to wear church dress and all the photos were taken while each young woman sat down at a fireplace hearth, looking into the camera and holding scriptures. Our Laurel then took them to Costco and had them enlarged to an 11 x 14 size photo in Sepia color. We purchased ready-made crème mats and black frames from Michael’s and collected coupons each week to purchase them with 40%-50% off each week. The finished photo and frame was 16 x 20. We arranged all of the framed photo’s on floor easels around the room and had sepia, darker brown, crème and white fabrics draped with each of the framed photos, on the easels. These were our Room Decorations.
We also had a large photo of Joseph Smith at the front of the room in sepia color with a crème mat and dark brown frame that I already had the matt and frame from my home. He was placed on a decorative floor easel near the podium where our speakers were going to be and was the focus for the front of the room, on the floor, since the screen was our stage focus for the power point presentation later in the program.
On our stage, we had our large screen down and in position to be used as part of our program and the black draping in the background with the white screen, simply went along with all the colors that we were using for the evening: Sepia, Brown, Crème, Black and White.
We used round tables for dinner and had white tablecloths that went halfway to the floor. We purchased a sepia-tone and crème sheer material that was 60” wide and made table caps to that size. We gathered them, slightly, in the center of the table…just enough so that food would not soil them. We had each Young Woman write our their testimony of Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Gospel and we typed them up in different fonts, framed them in dark brown wood frames and placed them on the tables on top of the gathered table caps. We had two to three framed testimonies at each table because of the number of young women we had. In the center of the table cap and between the framed testimonies, we had 24” thin, clear bud vases that flared slightly at the bottom. They stood very tall in the center of the table once the flowers were in them and it was beautiful to walk in the room and see. We placed three white roses in each bud vase with two different types of fern. We then placed petite point ivy in the front of the bud vase; draping it down the front and securing it with very thin green wire to hold the ivy in place. It gave the room a very soft and elegant touch.
We had two long tables together at the back of the room for our food table and it simply had white tablecloths on them for our buffet dinner.
We also had an antique wood table at the entrance with an antique wooden chair to represent the table and chair that Joseph Smith would sit and do his transcriptions by candle light. We had an old wood spool that had been made into an electric candle light and the bulb actually looked like a candle light. The spool was dark brown and the candle light bulb was crème and there was a white sheer ribbon wrapped around the dark wood spool and tied into a bow in front. We kept the candle light bulb lit for the evening as it reflected a very soft look and set the tone. Also on this antique wood table, we had a 20” white marble Christus that stood toward the side of a black framed “Welcome” message to all our guests. It was typed on crème parchment paper and read:
“Welcome Young Women, Parents and Leaders!
We are pleased that you have chosen to join us for what we hope, will prove to be a very spiritual and enjoyable evening.
Please feel free to take a Program for the evening so that you will know what we have planned for you.
Young Women and Leaders; we hope that you will accept the laminated bookmarks that are placed on the table as a small token from us, to remember our Theme for this year and to remember this evening’s
EVENING OF EXCELLENCE!
Love, The Young Women’s Presidency
We placed our bookmarks in an antique pen box holder with some antique black pens and we placed the Programs on the table for everyone to take as they entered the room.
In the foyer just before entering the room, we had two long tables with white tablecloths and asked each of our young women to bring one very special project or experience that they had completed to share for the evening. We typed up tent-style card stock with their description of their project or experience and placed them on the tables with their displays. It was a very impressive table reflecting true excellence in projects and/or experiences completed by all of our young women. The younger young women seem to always feel their “experiences” are not as significant as the “projects” that are completed. We made sure that there was an object to reflect the “experiences” if our younger young women did not know or have anything. Example: Reading the Book of Mormon- Placed a porcelain statue of Christ with the children on the table and leaned a black leather Book of Mormon against the statue at an angle and then placed her description of her “experience” in front of the Book of Mormon.
Our Program was made in 8 ½ x 11” crème card stock, folded in half and reflected the same picture we used on the front of our invitation (under the vellum) with a border around the young woman’s picture for the front of the program and was all printed in Sepia color. Above the young woman’s picture we once again stated our theme for the year: “Arise and Shine Forth”.
On the inside top of the program, it reflected our Ward and below that it read:
“Evening of Excellence and New Beginnings”
(State date of planned evening)
We combine the two activities together each year as one of our young women always develops one of her Value Projects for this part of the evening. The more you can have the young women participate, the more they will feel a part of what is being done and it assists them in accomplishing more of their Personal Progress goals.
The Program read as follows:
Young Women’s President
(State name of Y.W. Pres.)
Invocation By Invitation
Musical Number “Praise To the Man” Young Women
Special Presentation Value Project by:
(This was the power point presentation and we stated our Laurels name here. ) See details below.
Transitional Remarks Young Women’s President
(State name Y.W. Pres.)
Special Presentation Value Project by:
(This was a gift bag made for all our new Beehives by one of our Mia Maids and was her Integrity Project. She called it a Survival Kit and had things that would help them remain true to their Faith. We stated our Mia Maids name here) See details below.
Musical Number “Light on a Hill” Young Woman
Solo by: State Name
Closing Remarks Bishop or member of Bishopric
Benediction By Invitation
At the bottom of the program it read:
Display of Young Women’s value Projects in Foyer
The Special presentation was by the same Laurel that took the pictures of each of the Young Women, developed, matted and framed them for our decorations around the room as well as obtaining the written testimonies of each of the young women and typing them up and framing them for the tables. This was all part of her Value Project. Her power point presentation started off with music and pictures of Joseph Smith with our theme reflected once again and gradually went into showing each one of our young women’s faces and having a verbal /audio of them sharing their testimonies about Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Gospel. Most of them were approximately two (2) minutes in length and we have seventeen young women. There was music being played as it transferred to each young woman and their names were reflected by each of their photos. Toward the end of the presentation it faded into pictures of our Savior, Joseph Smith and our Prophet with appropriate music. Seeing and hearing each one of our young women testify to the truthfulness of the Gospel and Joseph Smith was powerful and created a reference in the room that was exactly the spiritual evening we wanted to present.
After the power presentation was completed, our Young Women’s President went to the podium and discussed the transition from Primary into Beehives and the orientation that is given to all new Beehives and their parent(s). This was our New Beginnings portion of the program. Our Mia Maid presented her Integrity Project as a gift to all our new Beehives and those that would be entering young women’s this year. She called it “Standards of Personal Worthiness “Survival Kit” and it was as follows:
Pray in Private Regularly – 2Ne 38:8
To “Secure” your relationship with the Lord (Safety Pin)
Seek the Guidance of the Spirit –D&C 88:3
Feel the warmth of the Holy Ghost as it “Lights” your way. (candle and match).
Honor Father and Mother – Mosiah 13:20
They will be a “lifesaver” for you! (Lifesavers)
Be Morally Clean – Alma 60:23
Keep yourself clean and pure (small bar of soap)
Obey the Word of Wisdom – D&C 89:18-19
Be “Gauze” it’s a Commandment! (gauze)
Be Honest is Thought, Word, and Action – D&C 51:19
Always let your thoughts, words, and actions “Reflect” honesty (mirror)
Pay Tithes and Offerings (D&C 119:4)
“Stretch” your money by paying your tithing and offerings (rubber band)
Practice the Law of the Fast – (Alma 6:6)
Don’t “blow it” when it comes to practicing the law of the fast. (tissue)
Obey the Laws of the Land – Article of Faith: 12
“Stick” to the laws and avoid “sticky” situations (stick of gum)
Apply the Principles of Repentance and Forgiveness – (1Nephi 10:18)
To “Heal” any mistakes! (Band-aid)
Help make Family Better – (3Nephi 18:21)
“Bear” one another’s burdens. (Gummy Bears)
Refrain from Swearing, Gossip, Criticizing others and other unworthy
Speech. (D&C 42:27)
“Button” your lip against all unworthy speech. (button)
Avoid all immoral and suggestive materials and entertainment – (D&C61:39)
“Lick” temptation! Don’t participate in activities that are not appropriate. (Lollipop)
Be an example of the Lord’s word in Thought, Speech, Action and Appearance. (Matthew 5:16)
Let your Light “Shine” (candle)
Participate in church meetings/participate in seminary, where possible – (Alma 37:35)
To help “Point”you in the right direction. (needle or pin)
Learn from experience the blessings of Work and the Sweetness of Service – (2Nephi 2:27)
Taste the “sweetness” of Service as you learn the blessings of work. (Werther’s Candy)
Our Young Women’s President returned, once again, to the podium and announced that the framed artwork of all the young women was a gift from the Young Women’s Presidency and presented all of our young women with the framed photos of themselves to take home as a keepsake for the evening. They all lined up on stage with their photos and we took pictures of all of them together with their gift from us.
Our Dinner consisted of a salad with Ranch Dressing, Bread rolls and butter, sour dough bread soup bowls hollowed out for Potato Soup with toppings of shredded cheese, chopped green onions and sour cream. It was a cool evening, so the hot soup was welcomed. For those who did not want the bread bowls, we provided regular tableware soup bowls. Water with ice and freshly cut lemons was our beverage and our Presidency all brought their glass pitchers from home so we would not have to place the plastic pitchers from the church on the tables. We served chocolate and lemon bunt cakes with a scoop of ice cream for dessert.
Our evening was elegant, spiritual and memorable for all!