Sunday, March 26, 2006

This weekend we attended the annual fundraising auction for Daisy's school. I gave a decent overall description of the auction after last year's event.

Fundraisers such as this are a typical way of raising money for schools, both public and private. Even Daisy's preschool, which was an unstructured, counter-culture, vegetarian, hippie haven, had an annual auction. Their auction featured items like:
  • Aunt Mildred's tofu-spinach cookies! Best you've ever had! *
  • An evening in Grandpa Moonbeam's hot tub! With Grandpa! (clothing discouraged) *
  • Chest of children's hand-me-downs: includes Baby Birkenstocks, "Somewhere In Texas A Village Is Missing Their Idiot" onesies, and hemp diapers. Worn with love. *
Even when we were considering sending Daisy to private elementary schools, I noted that they had fundraising auctions. At the ritziest of these schools, I viewed their auction catalogs while waiting to be interviewed by one of their techologists. Their catalog was filled with slightly more upscale items like:
  • Lunch with Mayor Gavin Newsome
  • Wardrobe consultation by professional wardrobe colorist
  • Cryogenic Chamber. Includes liquid-nitrogen cooled money chamber. You can take it with you! *
The catalog of donations for Daisy's actual elementary school has items that are more mainstream. There were gift baskets, restaurant certificates, wine, etc. All in all, about 1000 items were donated. Roughly 20 of those were art projects, created by the various classes at the school.

These art projects are what pulled in some of the big bucks. Each classroom has one or two parents who help with art activities on a regular basis. For the auction, they'll work on a special project. For example, the parent will get each kid to scribble some piece of art in a theme, like gay marriage. Then, the parent will take those homoerotic scribbles, transfer them to pieces of highly polished Italian marble, and build a house from that marble. This house then gets auctioned off as "children's" art.

Although many of the parents at the auction can't afford to bid more than a few dozen dollars, all it takes is two sets of parents from each classroom who have thousands of dollars, or are drunk and have credit cards. These parents then get into a bidding war, fueled by booze, competitve spirit, and a desire to bring home Junior's Gay Marriage Italian Marble Mansion *. This happens with almost all of the kid's art items so they raise a lot of money. A couple of the projects went for $5000 each. Some of them were HIDEOUS.

My wife, Hank, as it turns out, is one of those classroom art parents. She has spent months working on the art project for Daisy's class, and designed it to look nice in our house. She had each kid draw a nature-themed picture on copper plates. Hank then used a variety of chemical processes to etch the drawings into the copper. These plates were then wired together as seen on the right. It's quite lovely.

Thankfully this particular art project can be split into more than one piece, so Hank strategically partnered with another set of classroom parents who seem to have a sizable "art" budget. This allowed us to purchase Daisy's art while continuing to make our mortgage payments. It would suck if the bank foreclosed on our house, preventing us from actually having a wall to hang it on.

Nice work, Daisy! The auction raised over $150,000.

* Not actual auction items. Everything else in here is true.


zelda1 said...

Okay, I will make this brief. When I was a junior in high school, I know that was a hellofalongtimeago. Before internet, well alongtime ago. Anyway, our school did a fundraiser to buy new band uniforms. I wasn't in band but saw an opportunity to do a little joke on all those anal rententive parents who gave all of us free spirited non-band members grief. So, I baked dozens and dozens of brownies as did my friends. We even used the homec building to do the baking and we sold those wonderful magical brownies at the auction. We sold out in about an hour and I have to say, that was the most entertaining auction that I ever saw in my life. Mrs. More Tightass than anyone else, was purring around and even got a little too close to one of the male teachers, who, by the way, was gay. It was all cool and worth the two five finger bags of good assed pot that we invested in to add to our organic brownies. I have to say, they didn't and still don't know what hit them.

Mike said...

Zelda1, hah! That's great.

Leesa said...

I love that art project. Beautiful and very creative :)

Mike said...

Leesa, thanks! I'll pass that on to Hank.

Janelle Renee said...

I'm impressed with Hank's handiwork. Very lovely!

Come on, confess. It wasn't made-up. You won the bid for an evening with Grandpa Moonbean's hot tub WITH Grandpa, didn't you! You lucky dog, you!

dolface said...

i want the recipe for the tofu spinach cookies.

i'm not kidding either.

Mike said...

jr, what happens in Grandpa's hot tub, stays in Grandpa's hot tup.

Dolface, I'm afraid you'll have to invent a tofu spinach cookie recipe.