Archive for February 15th, 2012

Mutual Funds


Posted by Mikie Baker  |  5 Comments »

Remember the first time you ever held a fundraiser? Sure you do. You probably sold lemonade in front of your house. Personally, I set up shop outside armed with a gallon of the stuff after I left a very sticky kitchen inside. At 10 cents a glass, I’m not sure I even covered the cost of the sugar.

But then a miraculous thing happened. My next door neighbor dropped by to purchase my product. He produced $5 and I didn’t have change. He said, “Don’t worry. Just keep the change.” My face lit up and I promised to keep him in lemonade for the rest of his life. I was certain I was rich. And for a six-year-old, I probably was.

Next I hawked cookies for the Brownies. A small girl all dressed up in a uniform armed with a clipboard can be very persuasive. Best part about it was I learned about fundraising for the good of the group.

As a high school drill team member I got on the fundraising band wagon again. Along with the band, we were raising money to fly to LA and perform at half-time during the Rams and Dolphins game. We made our goal one fire extinguisher at a time.

After high school, I dropped off the fundraising radar for awhile. I was too busy looking for a husband.

But then Cub Scouts and the yet-to-be Teenage Eating Machine rolled around. I hawked popcorn to my friends like a half-crazed female Orville Redenbacher. The almost Teenage Eating Machine managed to sell three boxes – one to a teacher and the other two to us.

At this stage in my life, I needed the thrill of winning. We came out second in sales with over $1,200 to our credit. But the sneaky mother running the popcorn drive wanted her kid to be first, so she threw in some last minute sales of her own. I was so mad; I wished stale popcorn on her for the rest of her life.

When we moved to the country, I found that fundraising was a part of life. Because the houses are so spread apart, no one has the opportunity to knock on doors for their organization. Nope, the only hawkers at my front door are pushing a side of beef, deep freezer included.

Not long after we settled in, I started getting calls from the locals asking me to make desserts for this or that. I always said yes and realized if I was going to keep up, I needed to invest in a 25-pound bag of sugar.

So how do you raise funds in the country? Throw a big old party and feed everyone in sight. Or set up a cookie stand in town and wave down cars and trucks driving by. Either way works just fine.

I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, this is just a shameless plug for the Garden Patch Spaghetti Fundraiser coming up this weekend.” Yes, it is. If you live anywhere in the state, why not drive down for a great meal at a great price? Of course, there will be an array of delicious homemade desserts, too. You can visit with your neighbors or even make new friends at the Medina Community Center this Saturday from 11 to 2.

We’ll work hard, laugh hard and enjoy the day knowing that we’ve raised funds to teach the kids of Medina ISD the art of vegetable gardening. Who knows, maybe one day kids will start setting up fresh vegetable stands as their first fundraising effort. Frankly, I’d pay $5 for the perfect eggplant, knowing it would make a child’s day.

Spreading gardening throughout the world…one seed at a time.

Mikie Baker