Wednesday, December 21, 2011

All's Fayre....

Anyone who has served on a volunteer committee of any kind will know that in the organising of events there is always a lot of love and nearly always some kind of war!  Volunteers do what they do for the love of it.  Their conviction that they are right and their way is the right way is what gets things done in spite of the myriad other responsibilities on their collective plates.  I speak from experience.  I have served as a volunteer on some sort of committee or the other since I can remember.

I am Chairman of the PTA at Rhea's school this year.  I felt I could make a difference.  I hoped I could encourage people who are willing and able to join hands and create a community to do just that.  I love to write - so I started to write newsletters and to make plans.  The best part of heading up a committee is the getting to know and work with a bunch of incredible people.  My committee is brilliant.  They each have their strengths, we have a lawyer, a couple of accountants, a couple of people with the history of the PTA and all of them have convictions and commitment.  Fab!

We took over in the middle of September and suddenly realised that we had Pizza Lunches to order, a second hand Uniform Sale to organise, several kids sporting fixtures to support with snacks and refreshments and the big event so far... our Christmas Fayre.

Our school does not have a lot of space to spare, but we get by.  My Vice Chair is fantastic.  She is a whiz on the computer and can create documents that look sooooo professional and sooo enticing!  We cover each other perfectly - I like to be creative and whitter on about my ideas and my vision and she likes things to be bullet pointed to the nth degree!  So I write long newsletters and she make posters with Christmas baubles highlighting the exciting things coming ahead!

I am not working yet and she works more hours than is physically possible!  So I can do the organising and the nitty gritty and she can do the big stuff like the Santa's Grotto we set up in the school gym each year.  She leaves me to getting my bits done and I let her run with hers.  What a partnership!  She ordered the raffle tickets, I distributed them.  She organised the first prize and I trudged from store to store to get the long list of exciting extras.

I was always told that getting parents who work full time to help out or to join in would be a job and a half.  Let me say up front that this is definitely not the case at Reddiford School.  These parents are dedicated, committed and clearly willing to step up to the plate and boy, did they bat a home run for the kids a few weeks ago.  We had over a thousand items donated  - either new, nearly new or gently used books, toys, bric-a-brac, toiletries etc.  Our Bottle Tombola stall had over 400 bottles - absolutely incredible!  We had nail painting, face painting, decorating cookies, Christmas arts and crafts stalls, we had a fluffy Frosty the Snowman to win, we had cakes, cookies and mulled wine.  We had Starbucks Hot Chocolate with yummy whipped cream squirted all over it!  We had a Secret Store where kids had the chance to buy Christmas gifts for their parents (already wrapped and ready to go under the tree!).  We had people laughing and joking with each other.  We had parents and staff socialising in a informal manner.  We had a Willy Wonka Sweet Store with Nerds and Reeses....mmmm!  We had mince pies and egg less cakes.  We had so much Christmas Cheer and good will, it was something amazing to see.  The Gym was packed from the get go.  The School Choir sang carols for us and we joined in.  The Reddiford Families pulled together and pulled a really cracker out of the hat!

The PTA Class Reps (parents who liaise with their classes) came out in full force.  They had their stalls signed up from beginning to end and were flexible enough to jump up and help with the Pizza Stall if needed.  There was no whining, no whinging, no nagging and definitely no Bah Humbug!  Other parents shot off to wholesalers to grab last minute bargains for Grotto gifts.  Others wrapped for all they were worth!  My kids and my family always end up helping whether they like it or not!  My Darling orders take away meals so I can keep working on the Christmas Fayre, The Ray sparkles as she folds raffle tickets for all she is worth and Nikh spends all his time carrying things back and forth to make sure nothing gets forgotten!  What a team

Best of all ... in the whole of the Reddiford Christmas Fayre.... there was a tonne of love and no war whatsoever!

I am beginning to think this could be the start of something good!

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