On Saturday, March 7 I wrote a post about our school’s annual “Celebrity Waiter Dinner.” The idea behind this event is to get people from the community to come together to raise money for the students of our very low income middle school. We do a program called PBIS, which is a positive behavior reinforcement system. It is working quite well for us. Part of the program involves rewarding kids for doing the right thing. This part can be costly because we have a student store where they can turn in their positive reinforcement cards for prizes. We also have one or two assemblies and a Field Day at the end of the year, all of which are costly. Our annual dinner is how we raise this money.
This is the table that won the decorating award.
Saturday was our fourth such event. The theme this year was “Cruise.” Each table chose a sub-theme such as “It’s a Small World,” “Fort Lauderdale,” “Monte Carlo,” “Love Boat,” and so on. We have many ways to donate money, such as a raffle for small things like gift cards and gift certificates. There is a Silent Auction of bigger things, and then an even bigger Silent Auction (Which may be a live auction if we can find an auctioneer that year). Then there are the roving money makers. This year we did a 50/50, in which people bought tickets, and the person whose name was drawn won half of the proceeds. There was a locked chest, which contained $500. You could buy a key for $20.00. Someone wins the money, but not until far more than $500 worth of keys have been sold. This year there was a chance to win some gift cards to a grocery store and a chance to win a cruise to Mexico, a trip to the Napa wine country and a weekend in San Francisco. The prizes are all donated, and people are excited to buy chances at winning them. We auction off who goes to dinner first, as well as the deserts. People come prepared to spend money, and they do indeed.
My winning moment! I won the “Heads or Tails” contest! It was a thrill, obviously.
Every year our Assistant Principal tells us how much he hopes to raise, and I always inwardly scoff at the grandness of the number. And every year we actually raise that much. Last year he hoped for $14,000 and we achieved it. This year he hoped for $20,000. I thought he’d really gone over the edge this time. But when everything was counted, we’d raised nearly $23,000! It’s heartening to know that the community holds so much esteem and hope for our school and its kids. It tells us that things are looking up, because it wasn’t always like this. Fights are now few and far between, and the gang issues that used to erupt all too frequently are rare now. I guess maybe rewarding good behavior works. Field Day will be as great as ever this year, and the circus assembly is guaranteed for next year. So there you are.