Choosing Wisely

Doing our part to support our youth – even if it means drinking beer.

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher

Small town celebrations are my jam. Growing up, I really experienced the best of both worlds. Now I’m not saying your girl didn’t appreciate a good Neiman’s run, but I spent just as much time in rural Louisiana and in central Texas at the ranch as I did in Houston. Our fall weekends were quintessential Friday night lights at small-town football games near the ranch – go Weimar Wildcats! – festivals and church bazaars.

Last weekend Mr. Kaminski and I went to the Red Ryder Rodeo in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. It was small-town fanfare at its finest. There were mommas with babies in tow, toddlers running around under bleachers and grannies in their mismatched finery. It was amazing.

As Mr. Kaminski and I were listening to the rodeo announcer encourage patrons to support the local organizations selling concessions, the announcer was really focused on supporting the youth. The local school needed the crowd’s support, and they were there en masse selling a must-have for the event: beer. Now y’all know I always support our youth so I promptly sent Mr. Kaminski to go stand in the mile long line to procure some beer, which I don’t necessarily even like, but I absolutely took one for the team to support local youth.

That moment brought me back to when my babies were young, and I enrolled them in our church day school a few hours each day to give me time to grow my business. Now I will tell any young mother if you need help with your babies, go to your church program because having those amazing Christian women love on and care for your babies is the answer. Now you will think they are just taking care of your babies, but those loving, kind women will care for you and give you more solid advice as a young mother and wife than you can ever imagine. They are God’s gift and are indeed treasures.

Our church day school was run on a shoe string budget in order to keep it affordable as we were all young, early in our careers, just trying to make ends meet. So fundraising was always a necessity. Me being me, of course, I got involved in our school’s efforts to raise money. During one of our first meetings, I was given the amount that was raised from previous events. I nearly fell out of my chair. “Was anybody there?” I queried. The number was staggeringly low for the amount of work – the essential not enough juice for the squeeze, and I said so.

“Why aren’t we hosting an event with the three B’s? It’s a proven formula. It works for the Catholics. Why wouldn’t we follow suit?” We were Methodists. We could borrow. The Catholics wouldn’t mind. We were all Christians. The three B’s, of course, being beer, bar-b-que and bingo. The ladies assured me our pastor would never go for an event with alcohol. I was flabbergasted. I had been out with these ladies, their husbands and our pastor. I had seen them have a drink. I had had a drink with them. What was the problem?

Well, of course, I was elected to broach the subject with our pastor, and you guessed it, no one volunteered to go with me. So, I made an appointment, put on the full armor of God and went forth. Now, I loved our pastor – still do – and he likely really did not know what to do with me as this wasn’t our first – let’s say – conversation. He not only agreed to the beer – off church grounds – totally acceptable – he attended the event, bought an auction item and donated a dinner at his house! It was a win for the youth, and we raised more money for the day school than ever before. I tend to be rather convincing. Just ask Mr. Kaminski.

So, the lesson learned my youthful friends, if you have an option in fundraising, always choose to sell the beer. Let the other organizations sell the nachos. See y’all next week – on the porch!

Patti Parish-Kaminski

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