On Saturday, Tenley and three friends did a car wash to raise money for the Raa Middle School trip to Washington, DC, in May 2010.
The car wash was held at Paradise Bar & Grill, which is located at one of Tallahassee's truly odd intersections. People who wanted to have their car washed, after being enticed by the four adorable, enthusiastic young women standing at the intersection, had to figure out that the girls were at Paradise (and not the Shell station across the street) and quickly navigate into the right-hand-most lane, and come get their car squeaky clean. It wasn't easy.
Around 12:30 (after a 9 a.m. start), the girls all headed off to Whataburger for a meal. We had no promotional activity going on at the intersection, and the moms (and one industrious little sister) were all standing around talking when a car drove up to be washed. The driver of the car asked me what the "cause" was and I explained the girls (who were two blocks up the road stuffing their faces) were raising money for their May 2010 trip to Washington, D.C. The driver said something to the effect of, "I can't tell you how many times I have been in your position," and he talked about the years of fundraising car washes for his cheerleader daughter.
I have been ridiculously lucky in many ways as my children have grown up. When Tenley was in gymnastics, the cost of a "city gym" (Trousdell Gymnastics Center) was nominal compared to a private gym. Several local businesses have contributed sponsorship money to Tenley as a gymnast and to Wayne as a soap box derby driver. My parents, in-laws, and co-workers have bought more than their share of overpriced candy and wrapping paper. But the costs still add up; the trips get longer and more expensive as the children get older, and at a certain point "fundraising fatigue" is bound to set in.
That is why, when this couple drove up simply because they saw some people with buckets and a hose, with the intention of returning all the good will their child received over the years (and hopefully a clean car at the same time), this gentleman shot up my "will you make my blog?" list with a bullet.
Having "been there and done that," he will make it possible for Tenley and her friends to say about their Washington DC trip:
"Been there, done that."
I'll "run" into everyone next week!