The Oral Report

Standing up in front of the class was never so much fun!

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Location: River City, United States

The rantings and ravings of a mom of three wonderful girls as she finds new love while working like a dog and shaking her fist at the system. You know. Pretty much like everybody else.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I'll Be The Judge of That!

Our downstairs neighbors (at the office) have an annual fundraiser going on right now. Departments come up with a "theme" Easter Basket and then they sell chances on them. Chances are $1 each and all of the money they collect is gifted to whatever charity they sponsor for the year. This year it's The Grace House Project.

Volunteers of America of Kentucky and Tennessee
The Grace House Project allows pregnant women and women with children to heal together from the scars of substance abuse in an intimate setting. Grace House serves 8-10 families at a time, for up to one year, with the goals of ensuring newborns are born drug free and families with young children are reunified. The program uses evidence based assessments and treatment models to treat substance abuse, and provides a full range of other services. Children are served along side their mothers by a family specialist and two children’s advocates. Children and mothers work through issues of attachment and bonding with the aid of play therapy, counseling, and structured, intentional recreation activities.

To make it more fun for their employees, our neigbors make a competition out of it. A prize for the basket that generates the most donations, and another prize for the basket that gets the best scores on originality, presentation and creativity.

That's where I come in.

This is the fourth year that I've been asked to judge. It's a blast, too. Because they really go all out to make some interesting adaptations, and it's really fun to see them.

In previous years, they've had a "gambling basket" that was replete with poker chips, cards, electronic black jack, etc., a "day at the beach basket" full of suntan lotion, a folding beach chair, beach balls, bottled water, and all kinds of stuff to make a fun day. There have been baskets full of baby stuff, baskets full of DVD's (and I MEAN full) along with a small portable tv/dvd player to watch them, and one of my all-time favorites, a basket decorated to look like a gorgeous flower arrangement. Only the flowers (and butterflies) were made of intricately folded dollar bills. There were five or six dozen flowers in that basket, plus butterflies. It was simply breathtaking!

Earlier this week, the girl that spearheads the fundraiser caught me leaving work and asked if we'd be available to judge this week. "Oh, sure!", I said. And I've been looking forward to it since.

I drafted a couple of draftsmen (heh, I'm punny), and we went downstairs to officiate. I've included some pics to give you an idea of the effort to which they go.

Basket #1 - Pasta-bilities!

(We didn't take points off for the name, btw. In fact, this was the winning basket for us!) They were able to stuff spices, pasta, sauces, a bottle of chianti, a bottle of extra virgin olive oil, a pizza pan, a garlic press, a red checked tablecloth, a DVD of UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN and all kinds of other goodies.

A really cute (and TOTALLY utilitarian) basket!

Basket #2 - Baking Up Some Easter Goodies!

A pastel apron (with spatulas and recipe cards in the pockets) was draped around this basket full of baker's delights. A 5 lb. bag of flour, a 4 lb. bag of sugar, twenty different cake/cookie/muffin mixes, graham cracker crusts, rolling pins, specialty baking pans, cookie racks, and so much more. For someone who bakes (and I do), it was a real treasure to behold!

Basket #3 - Grilling Up A Great Easter!

This amazing basket included a large bag of charcoal brickets, a small grill!, a folding chair, various marinades and barbecue sauces, a cookbook, a FLYSWATTER (how innovative is THAT?), meat thermometers, basters, and even a twelve-pack of beer!

Basket #4 -
On The Road to Easter

Each year they have one basket that has a little more "guy" appeal than the others. This year it was all about the cars. This very cute presentation was full of carwax, a chamois, a sun visor, tire gauges, a one year AAA membership, and lots of other goodies (including a Hotwheels Easter Bunny).

Basket #4 - Hoppin' Healthy Easter

Last, but not least, this basket was filled BEYOND brimming with bandaids and tissues and hydrogen peroxide and any kind of first aid product you could imagine, but it also had things like chamomile tea and Campbell's healthy choice soups and an exercise video, too.

Any of these baskets would be a STEAL if you got it for $1. There's not one I wouldn't want to have. Not to mention the good feeling of helping families work through addiction issues. That's one near and dear to my heart, for sure.


Blogger Your Girl Friday said...

Happy Easter Tam!

4/05/2007 12:44 AM  
Blogger SuperFiancee said...

Back at ya, Kiddo!!

4/06/2007 11:53 PM  

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