This last weekend was a the biggest fundraising event of the year for our school's Parent Advisory Council. Each year, the school puts on "Pub Night" complete with games, auctions, and of course, drinking. This year, Pub Night was held at a local landmark on Hastings Street called The Old Admiral Pub.
I can't tell you how far away I feel from my Mennonite roots in Winkler or from the private faith-based school my girl's attended in Winnipeg when I'm at these type of school events. In a way, I feel like I'm skulking around at my first dance or in the bar for the first time as an eighteen year old newly minted adult. It just seems crazy to be doing shots or nursing a beer "for the kids". Crazy in an enlightened, entertaining, curious kind of way.
There were tonnes of silent auction items up for grabs. Mike and I had our eyes on a few of them at the start of the evening. As the night went on and the bidding got a little more intense, we narrowed our focus down to two and got into the game.
One was a package from Granville Island Brewing Company that included t-shirts, hats, glasses, special edition brew, and a brewery tour. Since living out West, Mike's beer of choice has been the Granville Island Pale Ale. We thought it would be a great reminder of the year to get some good brew memorabilia.
The other auction item we were vying for was an amazing art collection from The Lattimer Gallery in Vancouver. Peter Lattimer - owner of the Gallery - is a school parent and one of the organizers of Pub Night. He put together a great collection of traditional Haida art done by Vancouver artist Bill Reid. Mike has a special appreciation for Haida art and design, so we thought it would be the perfect acquisition.
We kept our eyes peeled on the bidding sheets - even setting up some friends of ours to watch and let us know if we needed to go up. As the night went on, somehow it became more about winning the bids than the actual items themselves.... but I suppose that's the way organizations make money with these things, isn't it? And we did need to remind ourselves that it was "all for the kids".
In the end we won both of the auction items and proudly carried out our new purchases. It was money well spent - amazing artifacts from an extraordinary place, and money invested in public education that has given our girls so much this year.
In the end, Pub Night raised just over $10,000 for the school for next year's start-up costs.
That's a lot.
I don't think any soup and pie suppers or chocolate almond sales are going to create revenue (or hang-overs) like that.