Monday, September 15, 2014

Can She Sell an Apple Pie Billy Boy?...On the Road to FUN-draising...Part 1

  This is the story of a little girl who wanted to play the drums.  Her mother would not let her play the drums.  The drums were too loud.  The drums were too big.  Boys played the drums.  So although this little girl still had the chance to be in band, she was doomed to life with a flute...a small, light, wind instrument.  Indeed...the girl felt lightheaded and winded when she played it. She was sad. 
A few years later, the beginning of her 7th grade year I believe, she became sure that becoming an average or even a somewhat-less-than-average flautist didn't seem to be in her destiny.  Demoted to banner carrier and later band manager,  she carried flags during parades, and ran out onto the football field, running like a wanna be professional tennis ball retriever...(those guys move like monkeys) to place the correct flags before the silk squad at the correct times, and then collect them again before the next song.  She didn't like to tuck her shirt in, but band managers tucked their shirts in. She did get to march beside the drummers and their drummings.  She also got to sit with her band friends and watch her football-playing friends play at Friday night football games, and well, that even makes tucking a shirt in worthwhile.  

Flash forward twenty some years later. 
don't be's only imaginary and there are no explanation marks

 The little girl had grown up, and now she had her own little, band-entering aged girl.  This child narrowed down her instrument preference to two...the clarinet or the drums.  The mother, recalling her own missed childhood opportunities, determined not to interfere with her daughter's instrument-playing decisions.  And so then, you can imagine the happiness that welled up within her motherly self when the daughter independently chose to live out her mother's dreams become a girl drummer.

But now.  How to we go about this?  Do we encourage this new thing that everybody else is doing by buying her the needed practice drum set?  (oh.  right.  this story is about us)  It was 95 dollars, much less upfront cost than the other instruments (sigh of relief)...but could this be an opportunity to teach the lesson of investment and responsibility?  Why yes.  That is what this could be.

The daughter had 24 hours to write out her reasons for wanting to join band.  She also wrote out her reasons for her instrument choice.  Then she proposed to her parents, who were presenting a united front, a few of her ideas on how to go about buying this drum kit set that was such a must have, and yet has only been pulled out of its bag once this week.
One of those ideas was pulling off a bake sale.  Now it just so happened that the coming weekend was the first of two weekends this fall for a huge car show here locally.  These two weekends, as well as two more in the spring, bring lots and lots of car-loving people and their colorfully-happy cars to our area.  Once they arrive, they park the vehicles along the main road, and out come the lawn chairs.  There they sit, directed towards the road, or they walk up and down the street, socializing and looking at one another's cars.  Some of the cars are for sale.  Some work on their cars while they're there.  Imagine a huge, long parade with an anticipating audience lined up and ready.  That's what it's like, but there's no parade.  Sure, many of these cars are also driven around, so you do see some pass by when they're not parked , but mostly the cars are parked and folks just sit lined up on lawn chairs along the road.
This gave us an idea...
What if we take our baked goods to them?!!  What if we put our baked goods on wheels, and travel up and down the line of cars and people, and Sara can ask them if they'd like a water or something to eat.  Brilliant, right?  Right.  It really really was.  More brilliant than we could have imagined at the time.  So, we got to work making apple pies...

...and these cute packages of animal crackers and lemon cookies. Super easy and fast to put together. Apple pies, not so much. 
 For Sara's cart, I used a laundry basket after removing the lining.  Then I took an old, worn suitcase/ bag and removed the handle/wheels.  The basket was attached to the suitcase wheels with twine.  Easy enough.  The crackers and cookies on top were also attached with twine, so we could open and close the lid, without them falling off.  They added fun and color to Sara's business start up.
 We carefully loaded her cart up with brownies, pies, and water bottles.
 Sara added fun and color simply by being her Sara self.  I made a few extra felt flowers for her headband, and we had felt, apple name tags.
 She picked out this light blue, reversible apron from my vintage collection, so I chose the pink matching one.
Happy with this excuse to wear vintage aprons and flowers in our hair,
off we went to hit the road together.
 In no time at all, she charmed those men with her "excuse me...I'm working towards buying a drum kit, and was wondering if you would like some apple pie", and with each sale, she grew a little more confident asserting herself.  I walked alongside of her, offered some guidance, but then let her do her thing. 
She was fabulous, sold out quickly, paid back her parent-lenders 90 dollars to cover supplies, bought her drum kit, and still had cash left over for something fun, like buying her and her mother some ice cream. (I may have "offered some guidance" in that direction.)  Pretty sure if she were selling dirty, stinky sneakers, those men would have bought them from her.
She did work very hard.  It was one of the hottest, most humid days of the summer.  We took small breaks here and there, but the promise of an ice cream stop and a few short, motherly pep talks saw her through to a successful sell out.
  With it being such a successful day, I began to think....

We are regularly looking for good ideas to raise funds for Siri's medical expenses and needs.  Simple is best.  "What if we simplify this idea by making only brownies, and do a similar type of fundraiser for Siri at the car show events and possibly a few others?" I pondered. We would need to go bigger...meaning more product.  At the beginning of the week, husband Dion came on board.  If I would make 486 brownies, he would sell them at the second car show (this past weekend).  

So this past week was spent accumulating supplies, designing simple packaging, eating baking lots and lots of brownies, and designing a larger, more functional cart that I now love in the way we humans love ice cream, or when our favorite sci fi is renewed for a second or third season...because that rarely happens, or how little puppies wobble when they walk...or how over 9 million of us love watching this little puppy topple over this equally cute baby boy and make him cry...
If you'd like to read more about how the bigger cart and fundraiser ideas turned out (spoiler alert: amazing), hopefully I'll have the sequel, On the Road AGAIN to FUN-draising...Part 2 up in a few days.  Can they sell a mess of brownies?  Will they be baked in time?  Can they make it through this challenge without arguing (who? us?)? Plus, will there be enough containers? Will the weather cooperate? (kinda sorta)...How many brownies does husband Dion want her to make next time?  Will they become brownie makers and sellers for the rest of their middle-aged lives? know, the kind of questions you may not be able to stop thinking about until they're answered...

There will be photos of how a yellow-handled dolly estate sale find, combined with a few yards of yard sale fabric, and this yard sale find...
became this...

(ahhh!..I couldn't wait)

In the meantime, this is what I turned our house into last week...

How are you making your today world beautiful?


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