For the last two weeks or so, followers of my blog and social media will be aware that I had set up a cinema day for dads and their kids in the hope of bringing together dads in the local area.
Well yesterday was the day!
For two weeks or so, I had been planning a movie day for around 40 parents and children in total, all sponsored by various local businesses.
From the beginning I felt I was shooting for the moon in what I wanted to achieve for a number of reasons:
1) Who would take a blogger seriously, never mind a recent dad blogger?
2) Would 40 people actually show interest in attending?
3) Would those 40 people actually show up if this went ahead?
And I'm sure there were more thoughts and worries milling around my mind that I cant think off.
So the first thing I had to work out was how much this would cost and how would it take shape? Well initially I had wanted to allow for 40 people into the Kids Club movie for the cinema and this was £1.60 per entry which is roughly £65.
Because I dont work £65 isnt something you have lying around when you budget your money, so I thought I would ask local businesses to support my ambition in return for a little bit of exposure. And the good people of Strabane really got behind it. Not only was I able to facilitate 40 people, but I was able to provide a kids popcorn meal to each child that attended.
This really inspired me to push on and make it a success.
I then had a conversation with Hayley from Parenting NI in Strabane. I've met and spoken to Hayley previously and she does amazing work for Dads in the local area. Hayley had asked if she could set up a little stall with leaflets and information for the dads that turned up. This was great and I got some brilliant information myself and was glad that Hayley asked me to do this!
You can view Parenting NI's website here.
So now things were taking shape and building up steam. My next move was to approach a local paper to see if the story interested them, so I went into the Strabane Chronicle and spoke to a great journalist called Michael Devlin. He sat down and had a talk with me about what I was about and what the aim was. He loved it, he is even a father himself, so it was great to speak to someone who understood what I was trying to achieve.
But like everything that can be printed in the paper, I was nervous about how it would turn out and what reception it would be. And to my relief, it was a very well written and informative piece, I was so happy.
Which brings us to yesterday. The day of the cinema!
Everyone was to be there for 11.30am to get a picture for the paper, get the popcorn and then get seated for the film. I was there from 11am, over analysing ever little bit, worrying if people would show, and what mistakes could happen.
But when 11.30am came, people started to arrive and I started to relax a little and enjoy meeting the other dads. The feedback from them was great and it was really worthwhile doing the whole thing.
I was able to go into the movie with Kyran and just enjoy it, even for the hour that he stayed and then wanted to go home!
So there we have it, to some it will be nothing, but to me it was one of the best things I have done, and has inspired me to do more now!
Thanks to everyone for the support and words online.
The sponsors: PG McGillion Motors Ltd, The Garden Centre Strabane, Maguire Brothers Contractors Strabane, The Mens Room Strabane and Blacktrack Tyres Strabane.
Hayley Devine and Parenting NI
The Strabane Chronicle
And the dads and children that turned up!