There was definitely a common theme to my birthday weekend: fundraising. Most people would probably think it's strange that I would decide to spend my birthday going to fundraisers instead of spending the day seeking funds for myself. But, I've always done my own thing.
Actually, it is a tradition for my mother, my grandmother and I to go to the annual holiday church bazaars in Oconomowoc. About 10 different churches and organizations participate in this event. I have always loved going to them and seeing the crafts, eating the cookies and having a special lunch with Mom and Grandma. Unfortunately, this year was a bit disappointing because a couple of the churches did not have their bazaars. This didn't come as too big of a surprise because it is often the older women in the congregation who make and sell the items. I have been speculating the past couple of years that our tradition would be coming to an end soon. Even so, we still had a really good time on Saturday and I got to eat fudge, cake and pie. Yum.
Saturday night was another fundraiser that I also attended by choice. Kait and I went to the Avalon Therapeutic Equestrian Center (Avalon TEC) for its annual barn dance. I had written a story about the center for the Oconomowoc Enterprise and the owner said I could come for free because it was my birthday. The event included over 100 silent auctions, food, Irish music and alcoholic beverages. It was a good time, but much mellower than I had hoped it would be. No one danced and the music was the pub floor pounding variety. And, as I feared, Kait and I were some of the youngest people there. But, we still had a good time and the money went to a really good cause that I was proud to support.
On Sunday I had to attend the Waukesha Education Foundation's third annual Celebration of Excellence fundraiser for the Waukesha Freeman. The event was huge with over 900 people present, over 150 silent auction items, lots of food and interactive displays. It was great to see so many people come out to support education and to see so many student volunteers helping to serve food and sell raffle tickets among other duties.
There seems to be so many opportunities lately to attend fundraisers and to help causes. There are a couple of problems that arise for me with that, including the fact that I most often can't afford to go to these dinners and which ones do I support if I could. Every day lately I get about three to four charity mailings asking for money for their causes. I mostly support three: St. Joseph's Indian School, The Nature Conservancy and UNICEF. I have received a mailing about Women for Women that I might consider investing in later.
Yellow leaves at Nature Hill on Sunday.
"There is no way to peace. Peace is the way."