Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A school fundraiser...

Remember the school fundraiser I've mentioned that I volunteered to help co-chair, well as of this past Friday, it has finally come and gone.  Whew-wee---yippee-skippee---as I wipe my forehead in relief!!  I'm happy {and proud} to say that it was a huge success.  The past seven months of planning and preparing most definitely paid off.  We still don't have the exact figures, but by all rough calculations, it appears this year's 37th Annual Spaghetti Supper fundraiser raised over $50,000 for the school. As you can imagine, the other co-chairs and myself are completely thrilled about that. 

Just to give you a little background about the's a small parochial school that serves children ages Prek thru 5th grade.  They only have one fundraiser a year and it's this....a Spaghetti Supper that is put on for the entire community.  It has been going on for 37 years now and it is a huge event for such a small school.  It takes place each year the last Friday in April and typically takes months of planning and preparation to bring it all together.  That's where myself and the other two co-chairs come in to play.  Parent volunteers are usually asked to to chair this event each year.  When I offered to help out, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into since we were fairly new to the school and had never attended the Spaghetti Supper.  It ended up being a huge time commitment, but was so worth it in the end.  

On the day of the actual event, it was neat to finally see all our hard work pay off --- seeing the decorations, the parent volunteers, the food, the vendors, all come together to set-up and prepare for the festivities.  The parent volunteers were all wonderful to work with---they arrived early that morning for their shifts to help with the decorations and food preparations.  Surprisingly the day's work of set-up, decorating, preparing and cooking of the food---it all went off without any major hitches.  Such a relief.

The sweet ladies I had the privilege of serving with....{from left to right}:  the school principal, Meredith and other co-chairs, Yoli and Lizzy.  I truly enjoyed getting to know these generous, gracious and amazingly talented women as we worked together these past seven months. :-)

Each year, all of the students get to create and decorate a placemat of their liking which is then on the tables the night of for the Spaghetti Supper.

Before the dinner began, Mother and I searched through each table and finally found Noah's soon as I walked up on this drawing, I cracked up because I knew it was his.  When I turned it over and saw his name, mom and I just smiled.

The real work on the day of the supper mostly happens outside and starts around 7am on the morning even though the dinner doesn't start until 5:30pm.  The men (all parent volunteers many of whom their children have already graduated from the school) come together each year to cook the noodles and pasta outside under huge tents.  And while this is all happening, inside in the kitchen, the ladies work tediously all day prepping the sauce mix, salad, cooking the breadsticks and so forth.  We were so grateful for all our gracious parent volunteers.  They totally rocked it!

We had a variety of activities for the kids to do during the dinner to keep them busy....a wheel of fortune where they could spin the wheel for a new toy or game, decorating t-shirts, and a bounce house.  Noah had a blast playing with all of his friends. 

The Silent Auction room was a real hit this year....our committee really came through and were able to get some wonderful donations and sponsors for our auction.  Jody had a great time bidding on all the goods that evening.  I gave him heads up earlier in the afternoon on a few of the things I liked.  ;-)
At the end of the night, Jody ended up winning the final bid on several items in the auction including this super cute Vera Wang bag set and the glass apothecary set above.  Way to go babe! ;-)
We also had the annual live auction event after the dinner which is always an exciting event.  Each classroom has a class project that is auctioned off which historically yields quite a bit of money for the fundraiser.  Some of the parents get pretty competitive as you can imagine as they bid against one another for their kid's class project.  Here are just a few of those that were auctioned this year:

I was so happy that mom, Jody and Noah were there with me to celebrate this fun event and to see all our plans come to fruition.  They have had to listen to me stress and lament about this project for the past seven months!  I'm sure they're just as relieved as I am that it's over. 

Despite my sore feet and throbbing headache by the end of what proved to be a long day (actually the whole week leading up to it), when I walked out the door of the parish hall after we had cleaned the place up and climbed into my car to head home, I had such a sense of accomplishment about the special evening we had all worked so hard to put together. It was so fulfilling to see all of the children and their families come together and enjoy this fun night. 

 Jody and I enjoyed visiting with many of the parents while there.  We were talking afterwards how thankful we are that Noah is able to attend such a great  school where he is growing academically and all the while gets to learn more about the Bible.  He comes home all the time singing new songs he has learned about Jesus.  While we are not of the same faith of this particular school, it has been and continues to be a great fit for our son and his education at this time in his life.  It's definitely a great place for a child to learn and grow both physically, spiritually and academically.  I'm really pleased that I was able to help out in my own little way with their annual fundraiser this year.   I also enjoyed during the planning phase seeing Noah "in his element" during his school day while I was at the school working on this.  He would always get the biggest grin across his face when he'd walk into the cafeteria and see his momma sitting at a table during one of our planning meetings.  That always warmed my heart to see his reaction.  I'd usually go over and sit with him and his friends for a few minutes while they were eating and chit-chat.   

I must admit.... I'm a little burned out on being a "mom volunteer".  With helping out this year on both the school yearbook and the annual ended up being a bit more time consuming than I wanted or expected.  Next school year--- I look forward to taking a break from all volunteer duties at my son's school and just being a mom.....plain and simple.  I'm pretty pooped out.   I really admire those moms who can faithfully volunteer every single year all of their time at their child's school.  But for me and my little family---it was just a little too much this year.  My husband's schedule with work and his calling as a Bishop at our church keeps us stretched thin as it is with our time together as a family.  I felt bad having to leave Noah in daycare so often this year so I could attend planning meetings or be at the school to work.  I'm looking forward to focusing on my family 100% again now that my volunteer commitments are completed---spending more quality time with my hubby and son. I also have some personal projects I've been wanting to get started on as well...i.e. pulling out that brand new sewing machine that has been sitting in my closet for months in the original box and actually start using the thing.  ;-)

All in all...I'll always look back on this experience with fond memories and I learned a great deal about the art of fundraising through the process.  


  1. Wow! That was unlike any other spaghetti dinner I've ever seen!! Everything looks so wonderful, elegant, and over the top! You should be so proud of yourself! Congratulations.


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