Last night, I went to my ‘hood bar and grill for a high school marching band fundraiser. (The same place I play trivia on Tuesday nights.). Now, this is third, fundraiser I’ve attended this school year; the first was for Pom and Cheer, the second was for men’s baseball. Mama Sharen, owner of this establishment, graciously offers both her space and a light dinner free of charge to high school booster clubs and attendees. Thus, through ticket sales, silent auctions, and raffles, the club can easily make $2-3,000 in one night! Better gig, than selling magazines or candy bars.
Further, Mama Sharen occasionally provides other free meals. On St. Patrick’s Day, corned beef and cabbage, on New Year’s Eve a midnight breakfast. She readily sponsors a hole at a charity golf tournaments and just gave me some autographed, MLB paraphernalia for our school district’s Foundation golf event. All of her generosity is done without fanfare or accolade. Her humility brings us all the consider the pleasure of giving.
Which brings me to the second part of my blog. As the lone school board member from my ‘hood, I always try to buy at least one silent auction item to regift. Last night, nothing really tripped my trigger, except a $600 three-hour DJ and lighting. Of course, I had no need for such frivolity, but I thought I could donate it to a school dance. Near the end of the evening, folk kept outbidding me by $5. I was outraged, and right before the auction ended, I outbid by $70. Hey, put up or shut up, right? After all, this benefits marching band kids.
Yes, the DJ went to me. As I sat, writing a check, a young woman approached. “I must ask, what was your motivation for aggressively bidding? Did you really want the DJ?” She probably was curious about what an old gal would want with loud music.
“No. I just bought it as a donation and plan on giving it to a school event. I’m on the school board; it was simply for kids.”
“Dr. Skidmore, I teach in one of the district’s schools. In fact, you’ve performed several times for my students.” Hmm. I’ve performed for almost 9,000 students. I certainly have no lasting recollection.
“Obviously, you must have wanted this. Care to tell me?”
“Our twins are going to be 16 in early October. We thought it would rock their birthday bash.”
Suddenly, my mind was flooded by Mama Sharen’s spirit. “Then here’s the certificate. Invite me to their party.”
She cried; we hugged. I left. Thanks to Sharen, I did the right thing.