Saturday, March 13, 2010

Weekend 3 way: Give me all your money

Tis the season to shell out, cough up, and dig way down deep into those pockets.

It’s spring time -- season of the dreaded eagerly awaited school fundraiser.

I’m not sure why schools decided that spring was the best time for school fundraisers, but the big ones all seem to fall between March and May. At least around here.

Case in point, I'm late in donating my contribution to my kids' classroom's silent auction baskets. It's Monday morning or never.

But even if you don't currently have kids in school, you're not immune to the relentless open palm of the school system. The neighborhood kids come hawking wrapping paper in late September, your friend's kid begs you to sponsor her jog-a-thon in April, and your nieces and nephews want you to sell your hair for money in June.

What I'm wondering, is just what is it that DOES get you to give? What money makers work on you? Is it the shiny new beach cruiser during the live auction, the silent auction's largest basket of booze, the original artwork by your very own Picasso, or those ubiquitous buttered bread braids in all their wretched flavors?

Pony up.

Well I do have to admit that a shiny beach cruiser would be tempting, especially if it were a kids' shiny beach cruiser. I would likely bid on that way past it's retail price. I'd also drop some money on a good weekend trip (although you're always taking a risk on the quality of the accommodations, right, Kendra?).

I'm also a sucker for photography packages, you know, the sitting fee is waived and you get one measly prints free, then you end up spending $200 plus dollars anyway? Yeah, I go for those.

My oldest daughter's basket theme this year is 3rd - 5th grade level books, which I actually think is brilliant, as it's so easy to contribute to, and it's going to be loaded with amazing reads. I'll be bidding on this, regardless of the fact that I have an extremely reluctant reader. I would likely bid even higher for a loaded basket of adult books. (Note to self for next year.)

But the buttered bread braids, they simply do not tempt me.

Buttered bread braids? what the...? I've never heard of such an atrocity. But fundraising, yeah it's a drag. I feel no pressure whatsoever to contribute to other people's kids' causes. My kids attend a tiny, broke, arts based charter school - anything I've got to contribute is going straight into their coffers. Thankfully, this school does not participate in individual student catalogue sales. For our size, the profit would never be worth the effort. We do more grass roots, high yield endeavors like our art auction, one fancy evening event with a godforsaken auction, and a big annual campaign that involves flat out begging for donations. I was unable to attend this year's gala (awwwww), but I shelled out big bucks for a 1 in 125 chance to win a trip to Spain. I also purchased an afternoon of movies and treats for the kids with one of the school's most fun and loved teachers. And a bunch of damn raffle tickets that didn't amount to diddly-squat. So to answer Beth's question, I'm most likely to pony up for good odds or a sure thing like the teacher activity. In the past, I've been known to bid on auction baskets when the goods are something I can use but might not splurge on, like fancy dog boarding or a bunch of board games.

May I just say that the girl scout cookie sale is officially over this weekend?! Yeeeefreaking HAW. Final count was 250. And SHIT I just realized that I neglected to turn in the final $$ envelope on Friday!

I've never heard of a buttered bread braid, either. It sounds repulsive, especially if it's wretchedly flavored.

But, actually can I talk more about buttered bread braids? Because I got nothin' to add to the school fund-raising debate. I think early on in my career as an auntie I got hit up for wrapping paper drives, magazine subscription drives, and swim-a-thons, but we were always on the road, so my answer was always "Sorry, honey, I'd love a subscription to Men's Health, but my Westy is on the move, and the mailman will never be able to find us." I guess it worked, because now that I think about it, I've not been hit up for years. (I can hear my sisters now: "No, honey, Aunt Ellie's not mean, not really, she's just broke, and, well, okay, maybe a little mean.")

So, sorry nieces and nephews, sorry friends' kids, sorry your school is broke because of my years on the road. But may I just say? Florida 2010 Road Trip. $582 over budget. There goes the Christmas wrapping paper.


a sucker for a fund-raiser in PA said...

Good Topic!
As a girl scout leader, former PTO vice president,and mother of 3, I could be rich if I got even 1% of all the things I've sold for any number of organizations.
That said, I buy from anyone who takes the time to come to my door, or even email me a request.
I always have a reason to give a gift, so sell me wrapping paper (over-priced but GREAT quality). I have to eat, so sell me a hoagie or, for the first time, a frozen braided bread. Love Penn State football, so sell me a raffle, or 10, to win season tickets for 4. You plan to dance for 36 hours to raise $8.4 million (you read that right) for pediatric cancer patients in Central PA, go ahead and ring my doorbell because I will drop change or a check in your bucket (google THON).
No cause is too big or too small because really, I may feel broke, but I certainly know I have enough to give a little...apparantly, to ALOT of things.*

*I will also pay Beth $5 not to release my real name and address ;)

Rita said...

I was thankful to the point of gushing when my older kids started schools that don't do fund raising a few years back. We write a check at the beginning of the year. That's it. Liz will either go to the kindergarten in the school that Katie's leaving next year and we'll be forever absolved from fund-raising obligations or she'll go to that charter school and I don't know what they have up their financial sleeve. But, I love the freedom that comes with not having to beg people for money like we had to do with the catholic school.

That said, Alex sold those butter braids for cub scouts a bunch of years. They're not terrible. The crust is really flaky, almost like phyllo dough. They're a decent coffee cake type thing to heat up on like Christmas morning, or Father's Day or to take for meetings or whatever if you have to bring something. If I remember correctly, their downfall is that you can't just take the frozen thing and put it in the oven, there's some forethought that needs to be applied to the thawing process. Haven't seen them in years!

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Terrible, I tell you, terible, although maybe it was because I was too impatient to follow the directions properly...


Kathi D said...

I can't think of any THING that ever tempts me. But a lot of the little kids I know are just too darn cute to refuse. So they get money just for asking.