Here's the step-by-step recipe for organizing a Spanish dinner:
  1. Pick a restaurant (feel free to ask me, post a msg to the group, or click here if you don't have one):
  2. Call restaurant and make sure they can accommodate 10-15 people (Peninsula) or 15-25 people (SF) on the chosen date/time (preferably the 3rd Saturday of the month).  Make sure they have veggie options.
  3. Make initial reservation (in the name of "World Affairs Council") for 12 (Peninsula) or 15 (SF) and ask by when they'll need the final count.
  4. Create an Evite invitation for your dinner (this is simple and takes just a few minutes) --> For the best response, get this out at least a week in advance of the dinner... BETTER OPTIONS TO EVITE: ,, (tho I don't know if either of these allow you to send to a yahoo group).
    1. Go to
    2. Login as yourself if you have an Evite account (if you don't, you can use with password wacsd )
    3. NOTE: If you have any questions or problems with the Evite anywhere along the way, click on "FAQ & Contact Us" or "Take Our Tour" (in small font at the very bottom of the page).
    4. Click on "Past Invites"
    5. Click on the invite for the previous month (this should take you to that invite)
    6. Click on "Copy Evite" (in the "Options" section)
    7. Fill out the green section:
      Put your name in the "Hosted By" box,
      Put "Spanish Din: <time>, <date>, <restaurant>, <location>" in the "Name Your Event" box (replacing those items in <>'s with the specifics of your dinner--eg, "Spanish Din: 7:45pm, 11/20, Habana-Cuba, SJ")
      Make sure that "Dinner Party" is selected in the "Your Theme" box.
    8. Be sure to click on "Save" at any point, if you need to take a break and will complete this later.
    9. Fill out the "Date and Time" and "Location" sections with the specific details of your dinner.  (Don't bother with the "Event End" or "Schedule Recurring Events" portions of the "Date Options" section.)
    10. Make sure that the only thing that appears in the Guest List is "" <>  (This may require deleting a bunch of email addresses, etc. that Evite has added. Update: THIS SHOULD GET AROUND THE EVITE BUG MENTIONED BELOW, AND PRECLUDE SENDING THE EMAIL MANUALLY AS DESCRIBED BELOW. BETTER OPTIONS TO EVITE:,, (tho I don't know if either of these allow you to send to a yahoo group).)
    11. Edit the "Message to Guests" section, changing the two "RESPOND BY" lines (1st and last lines), and the "RESTAURANT INFO/MAP/DIRECTIONS" sections.  (Everything from the "PLEASE READ:" line to the "!Gracias!" should be left as is.)  Replace the previous organizer's name at the bottom (if any) with yours.  Feel free to add a few words of your choosing in the beginning of the message as an opening greeting (optional).
    12. Click on "Other Options" and make sure the the "Reminders" section has "Yes", "Maybe", "Viewed, by not yet responded" checked off and "2 Days" selected.  Also put "wacsd<date>" in the box in the "Create a Custom Link" area (replace "<date>" with the date of your dinner, including the year--eg, wacsd11-20-04).  Copy the entire Custom Link into your clipboard, or as much of it as your browser will allow (highlight it, then use Cmd-C on mac, Ctrl-C on pc); you'll use this when composing the email below.
    13. Click on "Preview" and Proofread your Evite (especially the dates/times and restaurant address).  If there's anything you need to change, click on "Back" and make your changes.  Repeat this step until your Evite is ready.
    14. If you haven't already, click on "Back" from the "Preview" screen, then click on "Save," and "Send."
    15. (You'll note that the Evite send has a bug and doesn't send to the group.  This is ok, since the email invite that it would have sent is not ideal: Some users have problems with the graphical email that Evite generates, while others want all the dinner info in the Subject line of the email.) To compose an email to send to the group, click here.  Then, modify the subject line of the email message that pops up to match the details of your dinner.  Next, change the link in the body of the email to exactly match what appears in the "Create a Custom Link" section of your Evite (especially the date--you can paste the link in if you saved it in the step above).  Finally, add any words of greeting you might like to, and send the email.
    16. Alternately, if you don't want to bother with the step above to compose an email of your own, and you can get Evite's "Send" feature to post to the wacsd group, that's fine, too.  You can just click on "Back" (from the Evite Preview screen), and then click on "Send" to send out your invitation.  This is your dinner and your gracious time and energy, so please make your own choice here without any feelings of guilt/obligation.  If anyone really wants it done differently, they can always make that happen themselves via various means (such as by helping organize the dinners, etc).  You deserve nothing but praise and gratitude for the time, care and generosity you've put into organizing this dinner, regardless how you decide to do any particular dinner.  ¡Gracias! (from all of us)
    17. Click on "Log Out".
    18. Ensure that your invitation is received by the wacsd group.  (There might be a bit of a delay, as one of the yahoogroups moderators needs to approve your message for posting before it actually posts to the group.  :-)
    19. Test the link in the email to make sure that it does indeed go to your Evite when clicked on.
  5. (Optional) If you've scheduled your event for a date other than the 3rd Saturday, you may want to add this as a new event on the wacsd yahoogroups calendar.  (There are repeating events already on the calendar for the 3rd Saturday, so you needn't do anything if your dinner is on the 3rd Saturday.)  Go to and click on the date of your dinner (make sure the year is correct).  Then, click on "Add Event" and add the details of your event.  Finally, make sure "Don't Repeat" is selected, and then click on "Save Changes".
  6. After your RESPOND BY date/deadline: Return to your Evite via the above link; count up the "Reserve a place for me (Yes)" responses in the Evite.
  7. Call the restaurant by their deadline and give them the final count.
  8. (Optional) If you know of something going on, or would like to put something together, for later that evening (a party, concert, a club nearby with music or dancing, a cafe, etc.) where folks could continue to mingle, either in English or Spanish, that's always a great idea.  Just put the info into your Evite and remind people at the dinner.
  9. Accept my/our eternal gratitude and the personal gratification (yes, pat yourself on the back!) of knowing that you've helped me/us out immensely and served well your fellow Spanish-speaking amigos!  :-)
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