Service with a smile

If you want to make some real money for your nonprofit, skip selling gift wrap, cookie dough and See’s candy and instead go straight for gambling and booze.

But not at the same time because that would be running a casino. Hmm, now there’s an idea. Get enough motivated moms and dads together and the Petaluma High School Trojan Track Casino operated by the Federated Parents of the West Side could become a reality.

Ok, maybe not. But in the meantime, there are still plenty of opportunities for us to work bingo nights which benefit the Petaluma High band and pour drinks on race days at Infineon to raise money for the cheer team.

Although I really enjoy getting to know the parents of my daughter’s friends by participating in these fundraising activities, I have struggled a bit with the moral implications.

Is it wrong for me to be pouring a shot of Crown Royal Black on Sunday morning at 10 am when I otherwise would be sitting in the sixth pew on the right hand side of the Baptist church where we are members?

I’ve decided to forgo making any judgments. I’m not doing anything illegal and as long as I check IDs, I’m not encouraging anyone I serve to do anything illegal. So just because playing bingo and buying drinks isn’t how I typically choose to spend my free time, I think the best I can do is treat the customers with respect and a smile.

Today, Steve and I manned one of the five booths that were run by Petaluma High Cheer parents at NHRA at Infineon. We feel like we moved up in the world because unlike NASCAR where we just sold beer in bottles, we ran a booth that served margaritas (lime and strawberry), Weed (ice tea flavored vodka) and lemonade, and Crown Royal cocktails.

These drinks were stirred…and sometimes shaken…because when one of the hot rods goes from zero to over 300 mph in less than four seconds, the sound is so loud that the vibration starts in your chest and ends up at your fingertips.

One thing I like about working at these fundraisers is that it is a great opportunity to appreciate people who have an entirely different set of interests than I do…including tattoos. Today, I especially liked a really nice mother and daughter duo who both sported extensive tatts. It’s not often that you see a tramp stamp on someone who’s probably old enough to be on Medicare.

However, the best part about working NHRA today was that it was an opportunity for Steve and me to spend time together in an environment that was totally distracting from the computer and the concerns that sometimes overwhelm my thoughts. Fears such as whether our recent-college graduate son will find a full-time job, will our house sell and is that new wrinkle that I woke up with this morning going to be permanent, seemed very far away.

Serving those 16 ounce margaritas – would you like lime juice and salt with that? – for five hours was more refreshing to me than it was to our customers.