New Frontier for School Volunteer: The Tender of the Bar

by Lian on February 22, 2010

My name is Lian. I am a serial school volunteer.

My name is Lian. I am a serial school volunteer.

Thanks for all the e-mails about my school auction on Saturday night. Yes, I survived the auction with my new boots and my old feet in tact! The event went off like clockwork, despite a heavy downpour the night before and another during the party. And, the fact that our specially -ordered 12 ounce stadium cups with school logo for draft beer looked more like 10 ounce shot glasses! They made great vessels for margaritas, our super professional bartenders assured us. They were right.

I’m sure that there were a million more little glitches along the way for the event chairs , but you would never know. The two women in charge were cool as cucumbers, operating with a sense of fun and good cheer, not the white- knuckle, control- freak management style sometimes seen in high- stress fundraising situations.  They set the tone for an army of hard-working volunteers . I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bunch of parents do more work with less chatting and lots of good intentions than this bunch. I was blown away by the parents willing to spend the night parking cars, emptying trash, sweeping away the puddles, providing security while wearing the yellow security windbreakers ( extra service hours for those parents!) . Hands down it was the most hands- on group of volunteers I had witnessed; these parents were willing to do the work. I felt a little guilty dancing with my husband, secure in the knowledge that my bartenders could handle the post-dinner wine crowd, without me asking every ten minutes, “Is there anything you need?”

If you’ve ever worked a big volunteer event, and I’m guessing most of the Chaos Crew has, then you know the sense of satisfaction when all goes well. It’s a tiny miracle when these events go off successfully because they involve such a huge number of people and moving parts: parents, administrators,  vendors, the community of auction donors who gave generously despite a tough economy and the patrons who bid on the goods.  Even the high school drumline and cheerleaders showed up to make the entrance festive .

In case you are wondering, no, I won’t be signing up to run the thing in two years time. I feel like now that I have the bar down — as in “hire professional bartenders” — I’m going to stick with strength! Put me down as Bar Chair in 2012!

Embracing My Chaos, Lian

Related posts by Lian:

Cut the Chaos in School Volunteering



Lian February 24, 2010 at 8:08 AM

Christine– love those La Canadienne boots. Mine are Sudinis from Nordstrom– same idea but suited for our warmer climate. Lian

Christine February 24, 2010 at 7:17 AM

HI Lian,
were you perhaps wearing La Canadienne boots?? I wear those and they sound just like the ones you describe…I own 3prs…so afraid of them discontinuing at some point. They are perfect. In this climate one can not have too many boots or coats.

t3zoo February 22, 2010 at 11:06 AM

It is always a relief when a volunteer event is a success and an even bigger relief when it’s over! It sounds like you all did a great job. Congratulations!

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