Saturday 03 Dec 2016

Fundraising
Jennifer Flaten

Packs of teenagers roam my neighborhood. They methodically work their way through our subdivision, not stopping until they have checked every house. I have the lights off and the blinds drawn hoping they pass by my house without stopping. Is it the end of times?

No, it is school fundraising week. During the second week of school, instead of coming home with backpacks full of homework, the kids come home with backpacks stuffed with fundraising catalogs.

The kids are always excited about fundraising week, because it means several classes are cut short in order to fit in the fundraising assembly. It doesn’t matter what the assembly is about, the kids would sit through an assembly on the new tax code if it meant they got out of gym class five minutes early.

Yes, a whole hour assembly devoted to pumping the kids up about selling, in our case, magazines. The school highly encourages the kids to sell as many magazines as they can. Think of it as a junior Glengarry Glen Ross. No, actually the pressure is worse than at Glengarry Glen Ross. 

There are wild promises of helicopter rides for the best sellers. As far, as I know no one ever sells the dollar amount necessary to merit a limo ride, let alone a helicopter. Although, the kids always report that a friend or a friend’s cousin sold enough to drive past the airport.

If only the magazine fundraiser was the only fundraiser, but alas it is not. It is only the first of many fundraisers. Schools hold one fundraiser to bring in cash for the school in general. In addition, each club your kid belongs to will have a separate fundraiser to generate money for their activities, such as buying pizza for the end of year drama cast party.

Last year, lower middle school student council members sold strudel. Eh, tasty pastry is a whole hell of a lot better than what the upper middle school student council members had to peddle. They were selling meat.

You read that right M-E-A-T. Sure, I am going to buy a gross of steaks from some sweaty teenager who appears on my doorstep at nine pm. You’d think someone ringing my doorbell offering me a case of sausage would be an aberration, but it happens more than you would think. I stick by my family motto “never buy meat from a door to door salesman”.

The meat is unusual, but I think they have to be unusual. Every kid in the tri-county area is peddling something, how do you get people to buy yet another overpriced fundraiser item?

Well, you offer them something unusual; hence the meat. How many rolls of paper do you need, really? The same goes for Christmas trees, although I personally have five, but that what I do. I do know exactly how many chocolate bars I need but I am not going to tell you and no you can‘t come count the empty wrappers.

 

I eagerly wait for the day the kids come home with a catalog of cupcakes. The kids love everything in the catalog; it doesn’t matter if it is strudel or wrapping paper they want to buy two of everything. If I let them, they would single handedly fund the schools next three campaigns.

Packs of teenagers roam my neighborhood. They methodically work their way through our subdivision, not stopping until they have checked every house. I have the lights off and the blinds drawn hoping they pass by my house without stopping. Is it the end of times?

No, it is school fundraising week. During the second week of school, instead of coming home with backpacks full of homework, the kids come home with backpacks stuffed with fundraising catalogs.

The kids are always excited about fundraising week, because it means several classes are cut short in order to fit in the fundraising assembly. It doesn’t matter what the assembly is about, the kids would sit through an assembly on the new tax code if it meant they got out of gym class five minutes early.

Yes, a whole hour assembly devoted to pumping the kids up about selling, in our case, magazines. The school highly encourages the kids to sell as many magazines as they can. Think of it as a junior Glengarry Glen Ross. No, actually the pressure is worse than at Glengarry Glen Ross. 

There are wild promises of helicopter rides for the best sellers. As far, as I know no one ever sells the dollar amount necessary to merit a limo ride, let alone a helicopter. Although, the kids always report that a friend or a friend’s cousin sold enough to drive past the airport.

If only the magazine fundraiser was the only fundraiser, but alas it is not. It is only the first of many fundraisers. Schools hold one fundraiser to bring in cash for the school in general. In addition, each club your kid belongs to will have a separate fundraiser to generate money for their activities, such as buying pizza for the end of year drama cast party.

Last year, lower middle school student council members sold strudel. Eh, tasty pastry is a whole hell of a lot better than what the upper middle school student council members had to peddle. They were selling meat.

You read that right M-E-A-T. Sure, I am going to buy a gross of steaks from some sweaty teenager who appears on my doorstep at nine pm. You’d think someone ringing my doorbell offering me a case of sausage would be an aberration, but it happens more than you would think. I stick by my family motto “never buy meat from a door to door salesman”.

The meat is unusual, but I think they have to be unusual. Every kid in the tri-county area is peddling something, how do you get people to buy yet another overpriced fundraiser item?

Well, you offer them something unusual; hence the meat. How many rolls of paper do you need, really? The same goes for Christmas trees, although I personally have five, but that what I do. I do know exactly how many chocolate bars I need but I am not going to tell you and no you can‘t come count the empty wrappers.

I eagerly wait for the day the kids come home with a catalog of cupcakes. The kids love everything in the catalog; it doesn’t matter if it is strudel or wrapping paper they want to buy two of everything. If I let them, they would single handedly fund the schools next three campaigns.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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