You could hear the nervous tone in Haley's voice as she asked, "Aunt Heather, will you buy a Smart Card from me?"
Of course I did. As a matter of fact, I bought two. I remember how hard it was to sell items for school fundraisers, so I usually buy from my nieces and a few close friends. Over the past few years, I have bought boo coos of things, ranging from wrapping paper to candles. Not necessarily because I needed these items, but because of the relief and excitement in the child's eyes when I said yes. Plus, I am still a sucker for Girl Scout Cookies.
Harley and Haley always giggle when I tell them about my favorite school fundraiser. It was always one of the most fun weeks of school year and everyone seemed to look forward to it. Kids would save their money for it all year and it was totally more fun for the kids than selling Smart Cards.
The first day, the girls would bring in picnic lunches to sell. There were elaborate picnic baskets filled to the brim with foods that every pre-teen loves……..chips, soft drinks, cookies, sandwiches and even some with certificates for pizza that would be delivered later in the day. Anything was better than the cafeteria lunches! The boys would then bid auction-style on the picnic baskets in order to have lunch with the girl that brought that basket.
The kicker was, the boys didn't know which girl brought which basket. The girls would sneak their baskets in wrapped in sheets or bring them before school started. This eliminated the fundraiser from being a popularity contest and made the event more fun. A boy might bid on the food that they liked or a basket that he thought was from a certain girl……..and end up eating lunch with the girl that picked her nose.
One year, one of my friends decorated her basket with Coca-Cola items. This was hilarious because everyone knew that my family collected Coca-Cola memorabilia. Her basket went for a good sum of money, but the boy had to eat lunch with her instead of me. I remembered being thrilled with the boy that bought my basket. His locker may have been messy, but he was still cute! At least it wasn't the boy that snorted Pixie-Stix up his nose as recess.
Instead of picnic lunches, the boys sold their "legs". All the girls would assemble on the floor of the "little gym" and the boys would go behind the curtain on the stage. Tables were propped under the bottom of the stage curtain, so all you could see were the legs of the gangly junior high boys. The boys would dance around and be silly while, one by one, each set of "legs" were auctioned off to the highest bidding girl. In exchange, the boy had to do silly things for the girl for the rest of the school day. I was kind and only made "my boy" carry my books for me, but some of the girls were ruthless by making the boys wear makeup or skip instead of walk everywhere they went.
All in all, everything was in good fun and LOTS money was raised for a school functions. It would be considered totally politically incorrect in today's schools. Looking back, I think that it was a fantastic way for the school to raise money by playing off the raging hormones of pre-teen junior high kids…….and it makes for a great story to tell my nieces.
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