Fund Raising Efforts

October 10, 2015
The shopping area near my childhood home.

The shopping area near my childhood home.

Over the years… starting as a young child selling hand made pot holders door-to-door so I’d have money to buy Christmas presents for my family, I’ve been involved in many fund raising activities.

In high school, I was a member of the Key Club (a junior Kiwanis club) and distributed local phone directories in exchange for donations. I also helped sell Christmas trees to raise money for our charitable pursuits.

During my college years, I volunteered as a tutor at the local high school, but my fund raising activities were focused on paying my tuition, room and board, and occasional glass of beer.

After college, I got involved with the LIONS club and sold brooms, light bulbs, fruitcakes, pancake breakfast tickets, and raffle tickets among other items.

At church, I’ve been involved with yard sales, Irish dinners, auctions, and numerous other fund raising efforts.

Is it any wonder that somehow I got snookered into being the Fund Raising chair of our local Family Promise affiliate? Family Promise is an organization whose mission it is to help homeless children and their parents get back into a home of their own. For more information on Family Promise, I invite you to visit the Family Promise web site.

My past endeavors were small potatoes compared with my current challenges. In the past, the most money raised by any of the things I worked with was a few thousand dollars. Now I’m faced with raising at least $50,000 to get the program started and then meeting an annual budget of over $125,000.

Our fund raising committee has started a number of things to get that money flowing. We have Club 180 which encourages donors to help turn a life around (180 degrees) by pledging and donating $180 per year. We’ve also placed donation canisters in many local businesses. (One of those canisters was stolen. It probably contained less than $20 at the time. It’s sad that people would steal from charities, but maybe they needed the money more than our homeless children. Another story for another time!)

In less than a month we will hold our first major fund raising event. It will be Bed Race & Festival. On November 7th, we’ll welcome local citizens at 9:00 AM at Forsyth Central High School where they can visit at least 14 booths selling various items, have their child’s face painted, or let their child create a work of art that will be donated to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for another fund raising event.

The bed races will begin around 10:00 AM. Each team will compete in two heats and their time will be recorded. The two teams with the fastest combined times will then compete in the finals at noon.

While there will be a trophy for the team with the fastest bed, the big prize – the coveted Brass Bed award – will go to the team that raises the most money for Family Promise.

In case you’re wondering why I bring this up…

My entry in the Bed Race

My entry in the Bed Race

As of last night, my friends and family have donated almost $900 to Family Promise in support of my bed entry. I’ve given my bed the title of “First Day of Retirement” and it will be pushed by a group of retired senior citizens. Our goal is to prove that old age and treachery can defeat youth and enthusiasm any day of the year. If you like that thought (regardless of your age) I’d appreciate your demonstration of support… in terms of dollars donated to Family Promise.

You can make a donation to my bed or any of my competitors by going to our local local Family Promise Bed Race page.

Obviously I feel very strongly about Family Promise. Forsyth County, Georgia is one of the wealthiest areas in the country and yet, as of this past Thursday (October 8th) there were three hundred forty-three children considered homeless since the beginning of the current school year. A child is considered homeless if he or she is living with friends or relatives, living in an extended stay motel, living in a tent or camping trailer, or living in the family car.

You can also help the cause by buying any of my e-books that are available for your Kindle or Nook. I’ve stated that I will donate half of my royalties to Family Promise. If need be, I’ll give it all to Family Promise.

Pure and simple, I cannot do this alone. I need all my friends, family, readers, casual acquaintances, and everyone else to chip in. We have almost 200,000 people living in Forsyth County. If I could find a way to obtain at least $1.00 from each of them, we’d have the money problem solved. Sadly, I have yet to figure out how to do that. So, I’m reaching out to everyone I can think of.

I already received backing from a friend in London, England. Let’s see if we can get donations from other parts of the world!

Please spread the word! Thank you kindly.


What Makes Something “Newsworthy”?

November 24, 2012

Our church is trying to collect food and blankets for the people left homeless by Hurricane Sandy. In the past we sent aid to the victims of Katrina (food as well as laborers) and figure the people facing a cold winter needed our help even more.

So, I submitted information to various community newspapers and bulletin boards, but the information was never made available to the people of Forsyth County, GA. Many service and social events are listed, but the publishers haven’t found room to let people know about our efforts.

Perhaps I’m not doing it right. Any thoughts or suggestions?


Another Busy Weekend

September 26, 2012

Looking back, my bride and I first got to know and like each other while camping. We both enjoy spending nights listening to the tree frogs, crickets, and other night creatures.

When we first married, one of our first joint purchases was a pop-up camping trailer. At the time we had a Ford F-150 pickup truck that was more than capable of pulling that trailer anywhere we wanted to go. But then the cost of gasoline began to skyrocket. (Obama said that skyrocketing is necessary!)

We decided to sell the truck and buy a fuel-efficient Toyota Yaris. The car is five years old and we’re still getting around 40 miles to the gallon. However, we had to sell the F-150 to pay for the Yaris. Without the tow vehicle, it soon became necessary to sell the pop-up. We did.

A couple of years ago we replaced a Mitsubishi Diamante with a Ford Ranger. That little baby truck is a 1997 model and had around 77,000 miles on it. We now have it up to over 90,000 and were concerned about its towing capacity.

But, we bought the 4,200 pound travel trailer anyway.

Our new travel trailer.

Since we had nothing better to do, we took four grandchildren along for the ride when we went to the dealer, Peco Campers, to pick it up.

Some of our future camping buddies.

Thanks to good friends, Ed and Carol Terry, we learned of a camping resort, Unicoi Springs Camping resort and are now proud members of the place.

Yesterday we hauled our new baby up to Cleveland, Georgia and left it at a storage place that is much closer to the resort. Eventually, we’ll be able to leave the trailer at Unicoi Springs and won’s have to haul it anywhere until Lu is fully retired and we hit the road to look for America!

In the meantime, while all of this was going on, I published the first two chapters of my family history book “Quakers, Politicians, and a Pirate (or two)” as an e-book.

It is available at Amazon.com for Kindles or Barnes & Noble for Nooks.

 


The Supremes

June 28, 2012

Interesting that President Obama looks down on those justices when they rule against him. Today, he lauds them as the HIGHEST COURT OF THE LAND.

In truth, my hat is off to them, although I totally dislike their ruling. I can’t say I disagree because they based their ruling on the laws of the land – not their personal opinions. That’s what the Supreme Court Justices are supposed to do.

There are any number of points we can argue – regardless of our side of the political spectrum. BUT, they ruled based on the Constitution and precedent. That’s what they are supposed to do. Therefore, I applaud their decision.

Our president will speak highly of them until they do something he disagrees with. Then he will speak with disdain as he has done in the past.

There are many points with which I disagree with this President, and the way they passed the Healthcare bill is the biggest. However, the point they made that I will never forget is that none of our representatives bother to read bills prior to voting on them.

It makes me wonder why we are paying our representative and senators?


A Month to Forget

May 24, 2012

So far this month, we’ve lost Internet service at our home and five hens.

On the plus side, I’ve sold almost 40 books. I’m continuously surprised that my murder mystery is, by far, outselling my travel book – that can save you lots of money and time while planning any kind of trip, my romance novel – that includes a bit of science fiction, and my collection of short stories that would give you something to read while doing “other” things in the bathroom.

By the way, if you buy a copy of my travel book for the princely sum of $2.99, I’ll donate 50 cents to charity.

If we can sell a bunch of copies of “Ready, Set, GO!” in the next week, we can turn this into an unforgettable month.


A GREAT Deal

May 1, 2012

In my book, “Ready, Set, GO!” I talk about finding a good travel deal and turning it into a GREAT deal. I figure people who spend $2.99 to buy the book can easily save hundred of dollars on travel based on the advice in its pages.

So, why not help people save even more?

From May 2nd through May 4th, people can download the book to their Kindles for FREE! All I ask is that those of you who take the time to read it, spread the word. Encourage your friends to download it – but if they want to get it for free, they have to do it before midnight on Friday. Just go to Amazon Kindle Books to order.

Don’t have a Kindle? You don’t need one. You can download the Kindle software for free and let your computer act like a Kindle. Now that’s a GREAT Deal!!!


Email Memory Tests

April 25, 2012

I long ago lost count of the “older than dirt” type quizzes that get passed around by people of all ages… I think. I could be wrong on that. Younger folks may be embarrassed by their low scores and simply hit the ‘delete’ button.

In any case, I received another one today and decided to expound on it. (In truth, it has been a while since I’ve added a post to my blog – that brags about something new every day – and this is basically writing itself.)

We begin with Blackjack chewing gum. Do I remember it? Of course. I also remember Bemen’s Pepsin, Clark’s Teaberry, and my father telling me about how he and his friends chewed on tar.

By the way, this “quiz” was a simple one. Do you remember it? Yes or No?

Next on the list was wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water. I don’t know who puts these lists together, but this confection is still available, as is the next item on the list – candy cigarettes.

Now, soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles are from the past, but why stop there? What about the coolers that were filled with icy water and rows of bottles. To purchase a beverage, you reached down and grabbed the bottle by the top and slid it along the metal guides to the point where it could be removed. Inserting the ten cents released the lock so you could pull your choice up and out of the cold water.

Coffee shops or diners with table-side juke boxes? Why is this on any list? They are still in use in various locations. (Of course, with my short-term memory fading fast, I can’t recall where I last saw them, but I know they are still there!)

Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers are easy to remember. My uncle worked for Meadow Gold. They delivered every other day. In between, the Otto milkman made his rounds. If we ever ran short, he was glad to sell us any of his products.

Party lines on the telephone are another thing I remember vividly. To take things a step farther, I wonder how many of my grandchildren have ever seen a telephone with a dial.

I vaguely recall the newsreels before the movie. But I do remember that every movie was preceded by a cartoon and selected short subjects.

My P.F. Flyers were high top. In fact, until I was in middle school I don’t think low cuts had been invented. I could be wrong on that one.

Any one who had a flat top haircut knew Butch wax. Many of us also were very familiar with Wildroot Cream Oil and Bryl-creem.

TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning were there to help us fine tune our set. In addition to the rabbit ears, there were several knobs for vertical and horizontal hold, focus, brightness, and contrast. When we got our first TV, we could watch channel 3 – the Dumont Television Network, or snow.

I don’t know of anyone who ever had a professional model Peashooter. Straws and paper wads served the purpose for us.

Howdy Doody was one of the few TV shows way back then. My favorite show was Captain Video and the Video Ranger. Rocky King was a favorite of my parents.

One should not mention 45 RPM records without talking about one of two associated devices. In order to play those records with the big hole in the middle, you had to either place a plastic disk into each record, or put a large adapter on the spindle of the record player.

S&H green stamps are the tip of that iceberg. We had merchants giving out Plaid Stamps, Blue Stamps, Yellow Stamps, dishes and glasses, dish clothes, and other freebies. Of course, filling up at the gas station meant having a person run out, pump the gas, clean your windshield, check your oil and tire pressure, and offer to walk your dog. (Just kidding about the dog,) All of that service for 18 cents a gallon at the cheap “Fair Price” station. My older brothers always got upset with me for not paying 25 cents a gallon for the ‘good’ stuff. (They fell for the Atlantic Gasoline ads.)

Hi-fi’s were the forerunners to stereos, which were the forerunners of the surround sound, which were… you get the idea. High fidelity sound was a step above opening the louvers on the Victrola.

Metal ice trays with a lever were pretty handy if the freezer in your refrigerator was large enough to handle them. Our freezer could barely hold a half-gallon of ice cream (when it really was a half-gallon).

Mimeograph paper is one item that illustrates the ignorance of teenagers. There never was such a thing. The paper used in a mimeograph machine was plain old typing paper. Calling it a mimeographed copy would be more accurate. And I never knew anyone to get high smelling their test papers.

The blue flashbulb was supposed to reduce the glare caused by the older version of the flash bulb, which was much easier to use than the flash powder of earlier photography. My favorite thing about flashbulbs is that you could peel away the covering after the bulb had been used. It felt like plastic, but I really don’t know what the substance was now why it was used. Perhaps someone who reads this knows and will be kind enough to leave a comment.

How can we think about Packards without mentioning all the other car companies that have gone out of business over the years? Fifty years from now these quizzes will be asking about Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles, Plymouths, and who knows which car might be next to go away.

Roller skate keys might still be around. I’ll have to take a closer look in the toy stores.

Cork popguns were one of the many ways mothers thought boys could put their eyes out. We also had guns that fired Ping-Pong balls. Of course, BB guns were on the top of many Christmas wish lists.

Drive-in movies bring back many memories. Many teens went there to watch the submarine races.

Studebakers – refer to Packards above.

Wash tub wringers were a step up from finding a good rock along the river.

And that was the last item on today’s list. That’s good because I didn’t get upset with the mistaken belief that the Ink Spots had a hit recording of “Cab Driver.” For the uninformed, it was the Mills Brothers who made that record.

And now you know that at least one of the answers on those quizzes is most likely wrong. Makes you wonder about others.