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Fund for the Whole Family

Everyone in the SCV is fundraising - from each other.

Posted: February 19, 2008 6:45 p.m.
Updated: April 21, 2008 5:01 a.m.
There is a peculiar ritual in the Santa Clarita Valley. It involves the continuous circulation of carbon-copies of multi-colored paper. It is called "Fundraising."

In Santa Clarita, fundraising is a year-round activity. We have fundraisers at our public schools, fundraisers at our private schools, fundraisers for our synagogues, fundraisers for our churches, fundraisers for our sports teams and fundraisers for our civic groups.

Last year, I could have sworn that somebody held a fundraiser to support their fundraising organization. (Hey, the fact that those people raise money for a living, doesn't mean they don't need money of their own!)

When you go to the supermarket, the odds are 2 to 1 that you will be accosted by somebody selling something. Naturally, we have Girl Scouts selling cookies. And, I am not putting down your Girl Scouts - they're an institution. But what's amazing is how much company they have nowadays.

There are political solicitors outside of the discount chains. There are cheerleaders outside the gourmet food stores. There are soccer players in front of the fast food restaurants. And, every one of them is promoting a worthy cause. Whether the campaign is to Save the Whales, Save the Snails, or Save the Snail Mails, some Santa Claritan is promoting that movement.

What shocks me is not the number of crusades that we witness on a monthly basis, but the variety of products which we're being asked to buy. My children have been asked to sell candy, cookie dough, cakes, wrapping paper, pizza, snacks and popcorn.

What would happen if we actually bought all of those items? How could we possibly use them? Could I serve popcorn as an appetizer followed by a dinner of pizza with candy, cake and frozen cookie dough for dessert? Could I cover all of the leftovers in holiday wrapping paper? The sheer amount of stuff I'm supposed to purchase in order to be a good citizen simply boggles the mind.

But it isn't enough to merely reach into your own wallet to support these commendable endeavors. You and your children are supposed to be super-efficient, top-tier salespeople and persuade all of your friends and neighbors to buy them, too.

Now let's look at this responsibility logically. We cannot market these items to anyone else within a 20-block radius, because all of our neighbors have kids trying to hawk the same goods. We are not supposed to approach strangers for obvious reasons. (We always tell our children, "If a stranger offers you candy, run!"

Meanwhile, Mr. Stranger Danger is thinking, "If a kid offers me candy, I'd better run!") So really all that's left is to hit up the grandparents and shake down your co-workers. (One of the main reasons my hubby and I had kids is so that he could finally participate in these fundraising scams and go "mano a mano" with his co-workers. The modern work environment is competitive.)

As for those poor devoted grandparents, aunts and uncles swimming in sweets and Hanukkah gift wrap, all I can say is, "It's fund for the whole family."

Denise Koek is a happily married actress, writer and producer and a hopeless sucker for Girl Scout Cookies. Her opinions are her own and not necessarily those of The Signal. Contact her at




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