Went to Elle's award dinner for her local $2000 scholarship tonight. They put on a REALLY nice dinner....with the most unique twist! Rather than dress the banquet hall tables in matching paper and plastic that would be thrown away at the end of the evening....they decided to go green...and each of the 6 person banquet tables at the women's organization event was assigned to a member to "host". So each table was dressed differently, and BEAUTIFULLY, with that particular lady's REAL plates and cups from home. They did center pieces and cloth napkins and place setting name cards and candies and stuff...it was just gorgeous. What a cool idea! Some did seasonal flowers from their gardens, some did arranged flowers, one lady did a bouquet of feathers, one lady did Moose plates and a tackle box full of gummy worms, one lady did tree branches with colorful oragami, one lady did all butterflies....it was just all incredibly unique! They had a big coffee station where the "host" ladies would bring coffee to you in their own tea pots...it was just utterly charming and personal. Was SUCH a nice dinner. The meal was a catered buffet, but there was a huge appetizer table...because each lady brought an appetizer, too. Talk about WOW factor! BUT BACK TO THE SCHOLARSHIP ADVICE... The ladies have a unique approach to awarding the money. In the past, they used to cut the kids checks written to the school of choice...but they found that if the school knew the kids were aware of their scholarship BEFORE they did their class schedule, their original award from the school might get reduced. So now, they are having the kids wait until the bill comes due AFTER all the other aide has been figured in. That way, the kid's other awards don't get reduced and they can pay the college directly....so the kid gets the maximum benefit of their money. Pretty smart, no? If your kid has a scholarship coming in.....it might pay to ask the donor if they would do this instead of sending your child a check. Ultimately, the kid will benefit more, it makes less of a paper trail for your taxes, and keeps the money in the pocket of the organization a few more months to earn interest for next years kids. Win-win! These ladies are smart cookies! Both myself and hubby went, and we were also able to bring Grandma. It was really nice. Mom enjoyed herself so much! Elle was brilliant and made the rounds shaking hands and thanking everyone. She found that one of the women in charge TAUGHT GENETICS at a different university, and they had a wonderful conversation. What a nice night!