Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mayday, Mayday!! Er, I mean "yo quiero Cinco de Mayo!"

I love Cinco de Mayo! As a matter of fact, living here in California, Cinco de Mayo takes on a certain importance...and before y'all say, "ooh, what a racist!," stop and think for a second. It really doesn't matter what side you're on...whether you believe the "Golden State" is a pivotal part of these United States, or that the land was stolen and should in fact, be returned to the sovereign state of're like me (and the majority of others) and just want to get along.

Anyway, back to Cinco de Mayo...or as I heard a radio commercial say, "Drink-o de Mayo." That's right, more racist humor...Pacifico beer, tequilla jello shots, chips and salsa...mmmm, my mouth is beginning to water...and my speech is starting (continuing) to slur. Yep, tonight we have OUR LAST high school fund raiser, a Cinco de Mayo feast at Crawford's Barn (yeah, it looks just like it sounds...yee haw!).

Why all the fanfare? Well, my youngest is graduating high school this year and it seems like a good time to celebrate. She'll be off to Sonoma State University (north of San Francisco) in the fall. The last several years, my daughter has been participating in ASA softball during her teen years. ASA is a higher level of play, more of a competitive nature than recreation sports. Most of the girls playing ASA softball do so in hopes of securing some sort of athletic scholarship.

Naturally, the fees and expenses (in order) to participate and compete at this level are high. Also, most continue to play for their high school teams, mostly for fun, but also because here in California, ASA softball is forbidden during the high school season (go figure). At any rate, playing both each year results in a fair amount of fund raising. For instance, I have been to many, MANY crab feeds (and I hate crab), car washes, bingo halls, etc, etc.

The Cinco de Mayo feast, however, is a high school fund raiser and part of the Booster Club's efforts to secure a more consistent stream of revenue for high school athletics. Unfortunately, school districts provide fewer and fewer athletic dollars. So, our high school, thanks mainly to a couple of baseball parents, has taken it to the next level. We've worked concession stands at the State Fair, the Sacramento Kings' arena, Raley Field (Triple A Sacramento River Cats) and even Candlestick Park (San Francisco 49ers). As a group, we've made THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS (more like tens of thousands) of dollars.

But, as with all youth sports, certain folks participate...but most do not. That's all most folks have jobs, careers, other children, and certainly lots of obligations. Such is very much the case with our "club." I certainly hope they continue these events, but I fear they will not. Is all lost? Of course not...others will pick up the slack, perhaps down the road; however (I believe) NOT before there is a corresponding loss of THOUSANDS and (tens of) THOUSANDS of additional athletic dollars.

I hope I'm wrong...but I've already witnessed a group who last year used to have full concession stands (with parents and partners contributing) dwindle to a handful. This resulted in the need for additional numbers of outside participants just to fill these booths...and the baseball parents? Well, burn out's a bitch...but then, so's a warm Pacifico. I guess I better go and put that keg on ice., I mean "hasta la vista, baby!"

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