Mutual Funds


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

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5 Responses to “Mutual Funds”

  1. Tracy says on :

    I wish I could come! These kind of fundraisers are extremely popular, and always do well in my Mom’s area, too. GOOD LUCK, and let me know if the kid’s ever do a vegetable stand. I’ll send you money for the veggies and the overnight shipping 🙂

  2. Mikie Baker says on :

    Nothing better than fresh veggies! I’ll have extra spaghetti for you!

  3. Forrest Landry says on :

    Ummm, Mikie . . . what IS your thing with Eggplant? Is it the lucious, deeply sensuous purple hue that attracts you like the proverbial moth to it’s Flame? Or do you have plans to finally finish that catapult that’s in pieces in your garage, which was left over from one of those Scout projects, to see if you can shoot one of THOSE Veggies across three houses (and not break a window in the fourth!) . . . Or – have you found one of the Secret Cookbooks used in the Iron Chop Chef Bobby Flay Throwdown Cooking Competitions on Food Network, with three recipes for The Purple Things? . . . if so, you need – nay, are commanded – to share Delectable Detours around Picky Eaters’ Stonewalled Palates. . . . I once had Eggplant Medallions With Guacamole/Hummus crests, garnished with some exotic nuts, that was To Die For, all for a mere $10.95 each. And Damn Well Worth It. If I could find THAT recipe I’d buy all the eggplants you have ripe right now.

    Best of luck with your drive to deliver $4,000 to the Medina Veg-A-Rama. With that much money, the kids could really dig it. (THAT is SOOO passe, but then, I’m of That Age.)

    Deeply appreciate your Blog Posts. Wish I could do a Daily Dish that wasn’t whiney. But it takes so much time away from my book research. Keep up the good work, and let us know how much yall raised. (Another bad pun, considering this is for a Veggie-Rama.)

  4. Mandy says on :


    Your eggplant obssesion always makes me think of the quote “I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don’t notice” -Shug Avery

  5. Mikie Baker says on :

    Well looks like I’m good to go with God, then!

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