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I had an interesting day Thursday. The fundraising dinner I'm on the committee for had been toward the top of my priority list for the last several weeks after months of meetings. I once again prepared the live auction display ahead of time and felt ready to go. I worked nine hour days this week so I could take the afternoon off Thursday to set up my table.
Then Ken called. I couldn't let anything get in the way of such an important fundraiser, but I also have a hard time saying no to Ken and hot air ballooning. He needed crew Thursday, and would I be available? I said yes.
Fortunately, crewing was for a morning demonstration at University Lake School in Hartland for first graders and younger. Because my dinner display was ready to go I couldn't think how crewing would affect that. It might make me late for work, but . . .
It was windy enough that I wondered if we'd even get the balloon up, but it rose without too much bouncing around. Ken taught the kids all about the balloon, basket and components and the history of ballooning as much as he could with the excited children, outside on a cold morning. He took many questions and asked them how many basketballs would fit in the envelope.
The Lake School demo went well and I'm glad I got to see the place I've heard so much about. It's a beautiful school secluded and surrounded by woods. I did have to leave for work before helping load the basket and envelope into the van, so I hope Ken and Kay got out of there OK.
We were low on groceries, so I did that after work and setting up the display, and I didn't know what I was going to wear, but the dinner came and I was somehow ready for it. A record crowd showed up and all the work over the last several months was worth it. Many creative baskets were donated for the silent auction and the bids were flying.
The meal at Country Springs was delicious and I shared a table with eight beautiful women. What more could a guy ask for? Last year I felt guilty for not helping at all during the dinner. Other years I'd helped sell reverse bingo cards or spotted for the live auction. I even helped serve pie one year. I enjoyed doing it and let them know this year. While it's nice to relax with friends at dinner I did feel much better to be helping this year. Guilt weighs on me. This year I helped in several areas and was glad to do it.
I was glad to see past Waukesha mayors Carol Lombardi and Larry Nelson, but didn't see Wauk. County Exec. Dan Vrakas or Waukesha County D.A. Brad Schimel as in years past. They might have been among the 450 attendees, but I didn't see them.
A lot of caring people help with this dinner and come to donate and socialize. It's for a great cause; helping those who have little or nothing. Hope Center does so much for the less fortunate in Waukesha County I wouldn't know where to start.
If I've learned one thing from this fundraiser? There are plenty of people of means who aren't selfish, but generous of their time and selves. It could be what made them successful in the first place I suppose. The person who won the $200.00 in reverse bingo donated it back to Hope Center to help with the meal program. There was no recognition at the dinner, and if I wasn't the one filling out the donation form I never would have known. If I won bingo I don't think I would have done that.
Thank you to everyone who helped with, attended or donated to the dinner, or helps Hope Center in other ways. Your generosity doesn't go unnoticed.