Latest News

« Back to News List

April Newsletter

April 1st, 2020


The Funny Pages

Welcome to the Fun Enterprises Monthly Newsletter

April 2020 

From our FUN family to yours, be safe, be well and we'll get through this together.   

Virtual Programming saved my Sanity

Anyone who knows me knows I am a social person. I enjoy talking to people. I have no problem walking into a room full of strangers and starting a conversation. Someone once told me I could start a conversation with a rock.

During the past few weeks of working from home, I have felt the same things we all have felt, isolation and loneliness. I miss my co-workers. I miss the daily updates on their lives. I miss the lunch conversations about what I should be streaming. I miss the idea exchange and live brainstorming. I miss dressing up for work and attending professional meetings. I miss face to face live meetings. I miss my work out friends and “treadmill talk”.

We all started relaying on our various forms of social media and virtual platforms to stay connected for work and family. I started learning about the many apps I can share with friends and play games, when not working of course. I have to confess I was still feeling blue.

Now at FUN we did have our weekly Zoom Staff meetings right from the start and those were a life line to the outside world. It was great to see and talk to everyone but the true moment that my world got brighter was when we started testing our virtual programs. Our first test was with virtual caricatures. During this zoom call there was no agenda and no serious discussion about the next year. It was my team on a call that was truly SOCIAL and like a party. We talked about kids, pets, food etc. All while Will, our artist, drew each one of our caricatures. We all got to see him draw, comment on the drawing and be amazed at seeing that creation. I was so happy and felt a wave of release come over my body. This was what I needed. I needed that social FUN interaction, not just a Zoom call with a business agenda.

What made this a different experience was the pure social aspect of it. It was like being at an event with my friends and we got to experience something together that we took home. My caricature drawing that Will did of me, I now have at home and on my computer to look at and that immediately bring up those same feelings I had during the call.

Yesterday we tested out our new virtual Survey Say with 15 people (clients and staff) again that was so amazing and FUN. Even though my team lost…it was a great stress relief.

Virtual Programming is awesome and just like our regular programs here at FUN Enterprises they serve the same purpose to let the attendee/guest take away a positive experience that lives on long after their event is over.

I am so grateful for my creative FUN team for providing virtual programs to make us all feel connected and a little less isolated.

AC Anders, CMP

Billy Joel Said it Best

In 1976, Billy Joel wrote a song called Miami 2017 (seen the lights go out on Broadway). It is essentially a science fiction song about the destruction of New York City. When he performed the song in October of 2001, following the September 11 attacks at a benefit concert for New York, upon finishing the song he said, “unlike the song we ain't going anywhere.” Last week, we published a blog called This Hurt, a Lot. In it, I talked about some of the emotions that I and others had about what was going on with the coronavirus. In keeping with my personality, it was honest, unpolished and perhaps raw.  I shared that we had laid off staff.

Reaction for the most part was positive with people expressing appreciation at the honesty of the piece. It did, however, freak a few people out. Did this mean that we were closing our doors, was this the end of FUN? As Joel said to the crowd at that concert “we ain't going anywhere.” What I shared last week (and perhaps I shouldn’t have) was a snapshot of the moment. It was important to show people that it wasn’t just airlines, hotels and cruise lines that were impacted but small, local businesses as well. A week later and the landscape is no clearer. In one week, 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment. Washington state, California, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Massachusetts, among others, have issued shelter in place orders. State Governors in many states have asked their citizens to stay home unless needed, while some states are now stopping cars at the borders with license plates from certain states. The number of confirmed cases here is now the largest in the world with little sign that it is flattening or slowing.

On Friday, the President signed into law a 2.2 trillion-dollar relief package. Now, if I could just get someone with a PhD to explain it to me, I would be all set. What it does signal is that help is on the way. Financial recovery is one thing that is needed, but also needed is a recovery of a different kind. Slowly but surely, I am seeing a recovery of people’s spirit. When the blog got released, the amount of support we received was amazing. In the form of posts, texts, emails and calls, people asked what they could do to help, along with letting us know that they believed in us and that they knew we would be just fine. With positivity like that we cannot fail.

We are not the only beneficiaries of such support. Social media is full of posts of people supporting local restaurants or other small businesses with the sole purpose being to keep them afloat. Federal monies are important but far less impactful over the long haul, than the support of neighbors, friends, customers and clients.

Much of what I have read in the past talking about blogs say they need to be honest and tell a story. Last week, I thought that was what I was doing. It was again a snapshot in time. My hope was that people would read it and feel as if I was verbalizing some of what they were feeling. To let them know that if they were feeling that way, they were not alone. It was not intended to freak people out or to scare people. The goal was not to have people rush to our aid. What the response did was strengthen our resolve to come out the other side. Your comments and well wishes made a huge difference and made us feel great about who we are and who we work with.

If the blog made people anxious or overstepped the bounds of professionalism, I truly and sincerely apologize. When this all ends, we will be here and that is as a result of an incredible network of people that we are involved with. This group includes our amazing staff, fantastic vendors and truly incredible clients. I do not say it enough, thank you and we appreciate each and every one of you. Looking forward to getting past this and having many more years of FUN.

About the author: Ken Abrahams is the VP for Client Relations for FUN Enterprises. Sometimes he writes or speaks without thinking about the consequences, intended or otherwise. Mom always said honesty is the best policy and he is too old to change now.

Virtual Caricatures

 

For many of us, the hard part about the "new normal" β€‹β€‹β€‹β€‹is the personal connections we've had to put on hold.  The lunch room chats with co-workers and friends, the water cooler gossip, the relationships we have with our work family. These relationships are what strengthens your team, makes them cohesive and great! 

Over 3 years ago, Fun Enterprises took it's caricature program digital and now we've taken it virtual to connect you in a new, FUN way. Our Virtual Caricature program connects your team in a casual way to hang out and chat with one another while getting your caricature drawn. 

#KeepingFUNalive      #SPEAKingofFUN      #FUNVirtualCommunityBuilding

How it works:  Fun Enterprises will host your virtual event on Zoom.  We will enable you to invite your team directly. Our talented Artist will be drawing caricatures of everyone on the live stream.  He will periodically share his screen so everyone can see the caricature he is working on.  Once he has completed a caricature he will email it to the recipient for immediate printing and/or sharing on their social media.   

Pricing:  Special Introductory price of $350 (regularly $450) for a 2 hour session.  Approximately 15 caricatures can be drawn in each session.  As always, Company and School Logo's are welcome! 

Click here to watch a quick video of our Team's Virtual Caricature session.

      

 

Virtual Programming Options

The unprecedented challenges campus communities are facing given the COVID-19 pandemic make it more important than ever for us to stay connected!  Certainly some positivity, energy, and motivation will help staff and students manage the current situation and provide tools needed to push forward.  Allow us to work with you to deliver engagement programs that can be offered to your staff or students, and accessed both in real-time or pre-recorded.

         MICHAEL'S VIRTUAL OPTIONS                                     AMMA'S VIRTUAL OPTIONS

                                                    


Visit our Speak Educators Website for more.

To book for your virtual engagement, call Bonnie Fox at 253-229-4390

or email [email protected]  

The University of Colorado-Boulder has put together a great resource for virtual(ly) everything!  We've copied some of the links below but if you'd like to view their entire page click here.

Virtual Tours and Museums 

National Parks to Landmarks. 

Animal Webcams 

Staying Physically and Mentally fit

  • Missing group fitness classes or going to the gym? Check out the Planet Fitness Facebook page for live-streamed daily workouts several times a day. Is Yoga more your thing? Check out CorePower Yoga to keep up your practice from the comfort of your living room. Or join local Colorado fitness professional Alex Vaughan for live dance classes through their YouTube channel Zook Dance Fitness or learn a routine for a specific song from the previously recorded videos. 

  • For an introduction to mindfulness meditation that you can practice on your own, visit UCLA Health for downloadable guided meditations in both English and Spanish.

More Fun Things To Do! 

Although it was only a few short weeks, it seems like a lifetime ago now, FUN Enterprises celebrated it's 30th year in business with a lovely Gala Event at the beautiful Granite Links Ball Room in Quincy, MA.

Staff, current and past, partners, vendors, family and friends gathered to celebrate FUN!  We began the night with a cocktail hour in the foyer with an amazing Topiary Living Statue from our great friends at Ten31 Productions.

 

Who then lead us into the spectacular ballroom to commence the evening.

  

The Ballroom was gorgeous, decked out with up-lighting in our signature colors, games, couches and Glo-furniture from our friends at Creative Event Services, not to mention food, dancing and FUN! Ken and Wayde began the night with a speech thanking everyone for coming out and for 30 years of FUN!

 

We had the greatest Band!  Hot Mess and they rocked our party all night!  

 

It was such a great night!  Thanks to everyone who came out!

by Amma Marfo 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen this before.

Colleges and universities are accustomed to adapting to any number of strange and seemingly unreal circumstances: major storms, lock downs in the face of safety concerns, but pandemics – mercifully – seem brand new.

As schools start to ensure the continuation of their academic operations with fidelity and high quality, I want to offer a few tidbits to think about for those seeking to do the same with extracurricular and co-curricular endeavors.

Read more:  Care and Creativity: Programming Considerations in the time of COVID-19

Virtual Programming Available! 


Visit our Speak Educators Website for more on Amma Marfo

To book Amma for your virtual engagement, call Bonnie Fox at 253-229-4390

or email [email protected] 

 

This Month:

 

 

 

 

Easter/Passover 2020

Easter or Passover may not feel like the holiday this year to those who have big family gathering, go to church or temple in new outfits or have big egg hunts, but that's ok.  Being forced to do things differently doesn't feel good to any of us, but if I've seen anything in the last few weeks it's that people are resilient, adapting to the change and trying to make the best of our current situation.  So, this year, we take a break from the running around, this year, we relax in our homes with our families and do things a little quieter. 

Maybe your tradition of Easter dresses and sweater vests seem pointless (and perhaps expensive for people right now), since we can't really go any where, why not try something new like taking some of your kids PJ's and sewing on rabbit ears or cottontails, add some glitter or ribbons for a FUN at home Easter outfit the kids will love. 

Passover Seder Dinner will have to be a little different this year as well.  Although most markets still carry the traditional Jewish foods many of you may not want to go out for prolonged shopping trips.  Try a delivery service such as Instacart or curb side pick up which is being offered by many stores today.  These service might cost a little more, but for many of us, they are worth it.  If you are looking, I found this link : Where to buy Passover Food Online.

Whether you celebrate Easter Dinner or Passover Seder, getting together with family and friends will have to be done virtually this year. With so many virtual platforms available today, I'd suggest checking in with family and friends and use one that is familiar and tested before the big day.

If you're like me and you make your kids baskets, you're probably weighing the options this year.  Braving the isles at your local Target or Walmart probably isn't very appealing given the current climate.  You can try to get an order delivered before Easter, but even that is getting delayed now with priority items being shipped everywhere.  We have a local ice cream/chocolate store (Skinners Sugar House) that's mentioned on Facebook they are doing Easter candy deliveries for free within 10 miles or for a $5.00 flat shipping fee.  Check out what's in your neighborhood and support the small businesses that are struggling to stay afloat.  It's so important for us to help our communities right now.

Here are a few of the links I've found to have some FUN at Easter/Passover this year:

15 Easter Songs for Kids to Make Them Shake Their Cottontails

What Are the Easter Bunny's Origins? Here's the Fascinating History of the Easter Bunny

55 Creative Easter Dinner Ideas That Will Become Instant Classics

22 Passover Dinner Recipes To Spice Up Your Traditional Spread

Last-Minute Passover 2020 Food Options Around Boston

20 Easter Egg Hunt Ideas to Bring out Your Family's Competitive Side

Jewish Seder and Kid-Friendly Ideas

15 Grown-Up Easter Crafts That Are Seriously Stunning

26 Easter Egg Dyeing Ideas That Look Like Art

Digital Content to Enliven This Year's Virtual Seder

Really Random Trivia

1. Where did the Easter Bunny come from?

2. How many millions of jelly beans are consumed by Americans at Easter every year?

3. How long does it take to make a marshmallow peep?

Kim's Corner

Kim

Click the links below for some great ideas, recipes and FUN!

April fools ideas 

(We know that today is April fools day, but we left this in for anyone who needs some fun ideas during the stay at home order)

Fun things to do while social distancing

Fun Easter baking ideas

Tips for working remotely

Call it working remotely, telecommuting, forced isolation, or simply working from home for many this is a new way to work. It is something that I have done before but not for this long. Here are some tips and tricks that others have given me, over the years, that have proven helpful:

  1. Start your day the same way that you would if you were going to the office. If your normal routine is shower, dress, coffee and head out the door then stick to that routine.
  2. Try to set up an office space. For some, this will be hard due to space constraints of your living situation, but it is helpful.
  3. Try and make sure to speak to other people throughout the day. That human connection/interaction is needed.
  4. Set up a schedule and stick to it. For some, that will include family time or working with the kids on their schooling. These are interesting time for all of us so employers will understand that there are things other than work.
  5. Breaks are expected and needed. At work there is time spent at lunch and catching up with co-workers not to mention checking various social media accounts. You will still need those distractions during the day.
  6. Be disciplined, it is easy to find distractions. The occasional break doesn’t mean binge watching a different Netflix show every day.
  7. Get outside. Even with social distancing you can still go for a run or a walk. If you have a dog taking them out for a “needed” walk is always a great excuse.
  8. Close your office at a specific time. For many of us, this it is harder said than done but it is helpful. If you need to extend your time due to childcare or homeschooling that is understandable, but just because it may be easier to just jump on the work computer at 9PM, is it necessary?

Trivia Answer: 

1. We Can Thank Germany for the Bunny. The idea of the Easter bunny giving candies and eggs is said to have originated in Germany during the Middle Ages, with the first written mention of this tradition dating back to the 16th century. Dutch settlers in Pennsylvania brought the bunny to the United States in the 1700s.

2.  Americans Consume More Than 16 Million Jelly Beans During This Holiday. That's enough jelly beans to circle the globe not once, not twice, but three times — or to fill a plastic egg the size of a nine-story building. First introduced as an Easter treat in the 1930s, we can't imagine this day without them.

3. 6 Minutes!  In 1953, it took 27 hours to make one Marshmallow Peep. Today, it takes six minutes.

 

Newsletter written and edited by Debra Holland - April 2020

Thank you for visiting!

« Back to News List