In the spring of 2014, we were still “new MHT parents” (this was when the school was only 4th through 8th grade and my oldest was in 5th grade). I had missed the first meeting for the dinner raffle committee and Anne Hufnagel called me to see if I might be interested in “running the meetings and overseeing all of the promotions” for that year’s fundraiser. After she explained more of the responsibilities of this role, I said, “It sounds like it’s the chair of the whole committee!” Never having been to a dinner raffle, nor obviously on the committee, I was hesitant.
I felt a sense of obligation—the fifth and sixth grade parents have the responsibility of being on the committee –but it was only a two year commitment. I was nervous because I knew nothing about the event and was already pretty strapped for time—I had five young children at home and recently taken on a new, more demanding role at my job with the state. But I had a fair amount of experience in marketing, leading teams and coordinating events, and I figured this was God’s way of asking me to share my time and talents with my church and community. And Anne was a good sales person. I reluctantly agreed.
That first year was a big learning curve for me, but thanks to seasoned parents who shared their knowledge (and Paul Horak’s extreme organizational skills!), things ran smoothly. We met our goal of raising more money than the previous year and I felt a sense of camaraderie with the other parents and a sense of accomplishment for our kids.
Putting together the dinner raffle event is a decent amount of work during an already-busy time of year. And things don’t always go as planned. But every year that I serve on the committee, I look at it as a gift and opportunity.
It’s a gift because of the awesome parents that are part of the committee. There’s something special that happens when you work hard with a team to achieve a goal. Over the years, I have gotten to know—and bond with—some amazing people working together on the dinner raffle. I have made friends that I might not have otherwise if I had not been on this committee.
And it’s an opportunity to do God’s work. I might not be called to travel to other countries and build shelters for the poor, nor to give seminars or speeches on scripture. But I see this work—raising money for the kids in our community to learn about God, to promote the church and the Catholic school and bring the community together—as another way to do His work.
And it’s fun! While the parents on the committee are some of the most dedicated, hardest working people I’ve known, they also know how to throw a party and have a good time! It’s rewarding seeing everyone enjoying each other’s’ company, catching up with friends they haven’t seen in a while and thanking God for all His blessings.
I hope to see you at Prom Night, October 23rd!