Saturday, June 4, 2011

Another Day. Another Fundraiser.

It's a little peculiar when I start to think about how much time my husband and I spend going to fundraisers.  Tonight's event at Bourbon Street was for the husband and children of a co-worker who just lost their beautiful 40-year old wife and mother to cancer.  As pictures flashed across a giant screen showing the woman aging from smiling little girl to blushing bride to doting mother, I realized how fleeting life can be.  So we go to fundraisers to help the grieving and perhaps in some way try to ward off similar tragedy by buying raffle tickets and participating in silent auctions.  Not exactly full-proof, but the Irish are a superstitious lot.

The day had already been plenty long even before the fundraiser.  Daniel's school picnic involved keeping tabs on a maniacal Joey and watching Danny play game after game to try to win raffle tickets.  While other children gave up on the formal games in favor of more playful endeavors, Daniel insisted that he was going to try to win something for his dad and me.  He wasn't interested in the Toys 'R Us gift card or school mascot doll.  He only wanted something that would make us happy.

As the games closed down, Daniel gave me a tangled glob of tickets and told me to pick the prize I wanted to win.  Naturally, I dropped them all in the White Sox raffle bucket.  And wouldn't you know who won 4 tickets with parking to a Sox game? Captain Tenacity struck again.  He quickly walked over to us, handed us the prize, and ran back to the raffle area to make sure he didn't win anything else.  I love the eternal optimism of 7-year olds.

The theory of pay it forward came into play tonight when I noticed that one of the raffle baskets was an Indianapolis Colts gift.  Last summer, Jack ran his head right into the corner of a hutch and started to gush blood that shot 3 feet across the room.  In a panic (and fairly convinced his brains were coming out), I called an ambulance.  I hadn't thought of who was going to go with Jack or watch my kids (Joe was at the firehouse), but my wonderful neighbor rushed over to help without question.

I threw a screaming Joey at her (not noticing her arm cast) and left a bloody rag, two distraught boys, and a sinkful of dishes in my wake.  When I returned, the house was immaculate, the kids were calm, and the rag had been discarded.  Her husband is a huge Indianapolis Colts fan, so when I saw the Colts basket, I figured I'd have to drop an entry ticket in for them.  Of course I dropped most of my other tickets into the bucket for a spa treatment, but I didn't win that one.  So I will be delivering the Colts basket tomorrow.  As a permanent resident of my superstitious and God-fearing community, I figure this will buy me at least 2 more years without another ambulance ride. 

Unless of course I'm in trouble for putting too many tickets into the spa basket.

So tonight I will hug my children in their sleep and pray for that grieving family.  I will also pray for enough time in this world for my own children to know me and learn the importance of fundraisers.  It's what we do here in Beverly.  It's who we are.


  1. I can't believe you wrote that you will have 2 more years without an ambulance ride. What were you thinking?

    Sorry I missed the benefit. I hope there was a good turnout.

  2. I know I know. Bad Marianne.

    The benefit had a great turnout - I think the family was surprised at how many people came.

  3. You made me cry... damn you!!
    Now I have to go find my little hellions and give them hugs despite their devil antics. By the way, Russians are also very superstitious. But, instead of fundraisers, we spit at our children to prevent "the evil eye" to cause misfortune. For example, "Rada, Nolan is such a good baby... phtewey, phtewey, phtewey" [think my big fat greek wedding]. Thus, when my children are around my mom, they are usually covered in spit! Milwaukee Friend

  4. Don't think for a second I won't be incorporating spit into my protection rituals now. Thanks for the tip. Didn't you make me sit on a suitcase before we flew somewhere once? I think I smooshed my hidden Cheeto collection I packed in there. (;

  5. Yes... that is another one. If you are flying somewhere, you need to sit down for about 10-15 seconds and not talk. Then, you can go along your merry way to that sky diving lesson, bungy jumping or shark swimming. The 10 seconds of silence was enough to ward off all bad karma for the duration of the trip... unless you forgot something and need to run back in at the last minute (apparently, that negates the good karma).

  6. You got me to be quiet for 10-15 seconds? That alone should be good karma.