As Huili School Shanghai continues to grow in size and confidence, so does the strength of its community. Central to forging these necessary bonds of mutual support, admiration and appreciation are Huili’s whole-school events, such as the recent Winter Bazaar.
These events represent ideal moments for the community to come together and create some very special memories.
The organisational efforts of the Winter Bazaar were led by the Friends of Huili group, whose members are consistently dedicated to making every community event the best it can possibly be.
On behalf of the entire Huili community, we would like to extend our sincere thanks to the Friends of Huili for their exemplary efforts in making the 2019 Winter Bazaar such a success. A huge amount of time and dedication went into the preparation process and the result was an event that delighted pupils, parents and staff members alike. The FOH's efforts are representative of the values that we hold dearly as a school, as they have invested their time, talents and resources to enhance the enjoyment and inspiration of others.
To give some insight into the behind-the-scenes action that brought this year’s Winter Bazaar to life, FOH committee members Didi, Coco, Sunny and Yvonne share their thoughts and memories of the preparation process and of the day itself.
Choosing the Theme
The Winter Bazaar is an event that really is for everyone – our children, the teachers and staff members who teach and support them, and ourselves, the parents.
It’s a very special time where we all have the chance to think about the importance of community, family and togetherness.
This is why we wanted the main theme of this year’s Winter Bazaar to focus on appreciating nature and aiming to always be environmentally friendly. Like Huili, the environment belongs to us all and we must always try our best to look after it. We decided to show this theme in many different ways throughout the organisation and execution of the event.
The themed paper bags you will no doubt have seen showed this message clearly and proudly, as they contained both a poem and notes designed to inspire different ideas about how to be environmentally friendly. Ultimately, we wanted everyone at the event to be aware of the importance of respecting nature and how it is important to show that respect every day of our lives.
Perhaps the most noticeable sustainability-based element was that, wherever possible, all of the materials and items used to create the bazaar space were recyclable or reusable in some way. From the wooden pallets and comfortable cushions used for the relaxing spaces, to the posters, maps and other marketing materials, sustainability was the key factor.
Once the Winter Bazaar ended, all of these items were given back to the school to use again in various art projects and decorative purposes. Again, we wanted to spread the message that being environmentally friendly is something that we should all aim for every day, not just on special occasions.
Alongside this very important central theme, we also wanted the Winter Bazaar to represent a theme of ‘beauty in lifestyle’, to underline the importance of artistic appreciation in many different elements of>
Inviting the Vendors
A big part of the success of this year’s Winter Bazaar was due to the fantastic variety, quality and novelty of the different booths, stalls and attractions. This year we invited over 128 vendors to our Winter Bazaar and they provided such a remarkable selection of delicious food, drink, entertainment and Christmas gift shopping opportunities for everyone to enjoy together.
Having vendors of this calibre was doubly important this year because of some of the changes we wanted to make. Last year, for Huili’s first Winter Bazaar, pupils were committed to many performances on the central stage and also to running their individual class booths. While all the performances and class booths were genuinely excellent, we felt that this did not leave enough time for the pupils to simply relax and enjoy the event to the fullest.
Accordingly, this year we wanted them to have the chance to just focus on enjoying themselves, which meant that we needed to invite a greater variety of outstanding vendors who would be able to make the day unforgettable.
Of course, we needed to make sure that all of the vendors lived up to Huili’s very high standards of safety, security and sustainability, in keeping with our theme of respecting and appreciating nature. We are very happy to say that all the vendors and sponsors we invited were extremely cooperative, friendly and professional. This made the process of preparing for the big day much easier, and no doubt it helped things run so smoothly and enjoyably for everyone who attended.
A Supportive Community
Of course, organising events of this size and scale is a huge and complicated task. There are so many important decisions to make, elements to plan, problems to solve and details to double-check. For this reason, it is a task that requires the talents, time and resources of many different people – nobody could hope to manage it alone!
This is why we would like to extend our warmest gratitude and appreciation to the many, many people who helped to make the Winter Bazaar 2019 such a success.
So many parents helped recommend suitable vendors for the event, and even reached out to make introductions and connections, easing the burden of communications. Other FOH volunteers helped with fundraising and sponsorship activities, designing posters, marketing materials and the excellent event map, while others still helped coordinate various logistical elements and innumerable small but vital tasks that all contributed to the event’s smooth running.
We are so very lucky to be part of a community where people are willing to give up their time to help whenever they are asked. This extends to the entirety of the Huili community, not just the FOH. The end of the Winter Bazaar was made all the nicer by the ample evidence that pupils, staff and parents had worked responsibly throughout the day to ensure that everything was kept clean, safe and tidy. In fact, we can share with you that many of our vendor partners took the time to tell us that our Winter Bazaar was the best and most enjoyable event they had ever witnessed! This is something we can all be proud of, as it demonstrates the strength of our community and how much we all care about it.As a side note, we would like to share the very welcome news that thanks to everyone’s fantastic efforts, we have managed to not only cover the costs of the Winter Bazaar in their entirety, there was even some money left over! Alongside selflessness and responsibility, trust and transparency are vital elements in any community, and because of this we will be making the full financial data of the event available for public viewing. This will allow anyone who is interested to see how the money was spent in preparation for the event, and how much is left over to support future events.
Looking ahead to future community events at Huili
We are both delighted and proud that the Winter Bazaar 2019 was such a successful event that hopefully brought joy and happiness into the hearts of every Huili member during this festive season. This could not have been done without the commitment of the entire community working together to create something unique and wonderful. Once again, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their invaluable support.
With the school now well into its second year of operations, and with several major community events successfully planned and hosted, we feel that we can look ahead to future events with confidence and excitement.
There is an attitude of positivity and a willingness to help out that can be felt across the school. We feel that this is an essential lesson to be teaching our children. Whenever they attend an event, they can see for themselves what can be achieved when a group of people come together with the goal of offering caring and compassionate support.
Please look out for details of our upcoming events in the near future, starting with preparations for the Annual Ball, which will be held during March 2020. Our community events will always rely>Best season’s greetings!