Almost six years ago I received a phone call from this girl in our town. Joyce. A real go getter who was the new President of SEPTA (Special Education PTA…same as P&C). She was organizing the SEPTA Fundraiser - a wild night of thousands of Tricky Trays* (new word that I learnt this year), raffles, silent auctions etc.

Three fundraisers in six years, lots of meetings and a great deal of red wine has led to a unique friendship that many people never get the chance to experience and yet, I have been blessed to enjoy. My friend gives her heart and soul to everything that she touches. She is loyal and trustworthy. She is phenomenally gifted in the written word and she touches the lives of so many through her work within SEPTA. Ask her anything and she will have the answer and if she doesn’t, she finds out.

This friendship blessing came with some wonderful baggage. The rest of the SEPTA Board! Can I tell you that when you have to spend time with a Board, for meetings and such - how fantastic it is that you all get on so well that you would actively choose to spend time with these people because we have become dear to each other’s hearts. We are hugely busy with our own lives - work, children, house and home but together we form this formidable team of women who can achieve anything that we set our minds to.

In our first year of fundraising we had an obscene amount of Tricky Trays* - something like 300 donated prizes! (Do you know how many high heels and push up bras that took to gather?) It took 4 hours to draw the tickets - I had no voice by the end but what we did have, because of the generosity of our town and community, was a great end result to use for teacher grants and scholarships.

We decided there had to be an easier way….and we had two years to come up with it! Bingo and Brownies!! Oh what a night. Complete with Bingo light up board, dobbers, cards and the like, our school community enjoyed a fabulous night of friendship, laughter, games and prizes - again resulting in a great bottom line for our kids and teachers.

This year we all seemed busier with life than we could remember (maybe a three year old helps in my department), yet somehow we managed to pull it off again. The enjoyment of those who attended showed on their faces, the laughter infectious and the prizes were awesome (good Yanky word which I have come to love)! The Mayor of our town - we now call him The Major, stayed to the bitter end and our husbands even melted enough to say how impressive the evening was….boxes of cookies in their hands probably helped with these statements.

The sights and sounds of Bingo and Brownies are memorable.

crisp purple grab bags that contained a treasure or two

a tower of mouthwatering brownies and cookies

vintage style cake platters decorated with napkins, coffee stirrers and dobbers

bulging baskets of wonderful prizes, too many to choose from

crinkling cellophane and large indulgent ribbon bows

silence as the numbers are called

intermittent sighs when players start to get close

the gleeful cry of BINGO followed by the low bellied groans of other players
cheerful clapping replaces the groans as players share in the joy of the “lucky one"

….and then it is on to the next game

Our SEPTA Bingo and Brownies night has truly become a community event and we revel not only in its fundraising success but in its success to bring a town of busy people together for a short moment in time, to take pleasure in each other’s company, while ensuring that our kids receive the best that the world can offer.

We truly proved we are the Bingo Queens.

*Tricky Trays - Themed baskets wrapped with loving care by women who have nothing better to do than drink good Italian wine, eat fabulous Italian biscotti (orange/cranberry is to die for) and spend hours in an attic (which has been beautifully “Country Living” decorated) cello-ing and ribbon-ing baskets for the enjoyment of others and for the benefit of our kids

I love my SEPTA Girls and I am grateful to call them my friends.

1 comment:

Linda said...

What a beautiful celebration!