Raffle Time!

Every year my Lion’s Club (in Sandy Spring) holds a raffle to raise money for doing good works in the community. All of the money raised goes back into the community. It funds our activities fund, which goes to help local institutions like hospices, after-school programs, and glasses for local folks who can’t afford them.

The raffle is for three prizes:

  • First Prize is a 7 night trip for 2 to Hawaii – value $5500
  • Second Prize is a 3 night trip for 2 to a resort in the Caribbean – value $1600
  • Third Prize is a 3 night trip for 2 to Las Vegas – value $1100

You don’t have to go to the place listed, if you win you can go anywhere that the amount will take you!

Last year I sold 5 tickets (3 to immediate family and 2 to work friends) and then bought 10 of them myself. We’re supposed to sell 15 altogether, so I tend to buy up whatever is left. My grandfather can sell around 200 of them because he’s outgoing and has a lot of friends. Some people in the club stand outside of restaurants and sell 400 altogether. If I could sell more than 15 this year
I’ll feel really good, and I think I’m the only member trying to sell over the internet. Work your magic, internet!

Tickets are $10 each and only 2200 will be sold. I was never very good at combinatorics, but I’m pretty sure that if you buy 10 (like I did last year) you have a 1 in 73 chance of winning. My parents won the third prize about three years ago and had a great time. If you can afford it, please buy one! I don’t know if I can handle buying the 10 again this year!

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Try Not to Get Sweat in your Shortcake

Today I attended and volunteered at the Sandy Spring Museum annual Strawberry Festival. Shortcake, music, tchotchkes and hayrides abounded. The music was pretty good, some jazz, orchestral and big band stuff. I had some pizza and some shortcake (no whipped cream.) Did I mention there was shortcake?

The volunteering part included working for the lions club to break down all the tents and signs and everything that could be ruined by rain or thieves afterwards. It’s hard work and this is my third year doing it. It was pretty hot all day and this day is one of only 3 or 4 per year where I break a sweat from working (yes, I am that lazy, but my hands are soft!)

My triumph of the day: just as we were doing the last thing, which was stacking hay bales and putting a tarp over them to keep them dry, it started to thunder and lightning. We got the tarp on but the wind picked up and blew it back off. I suggested securing it with bungee cords just in time because as soon as it was secure, it started to downpour like I haven’t seen before. TORRENTIAL!
I felt really good and pretty lucky.

A shower later, I’m back on the computer blogging like every other day I don’t do any physical work. My goal for next year: find someone to go with me!

A Lion in Late Winter

Many people who know me know that I am a member of Lions Club International and also my local Lions Club in Sandy Spring.   The Lions are a good organization, I just went to a meeting tonight, but I have been missing some of my commitments there recently due to my separation and me just generally blowing anything off until Melissa is gone (either to spend more time with her or because I am too sad to really commit myself).

I hope to redouble my efforts in the near future and be sure to be a useful and contributing member of the club.

My grandfather, who asked me to join, asked me a few years ago why I had done it.  I told him I joined so that I could help people and be an upstanding member of my community.  These are both totally true statements.  But I also had a bit of an ulterior, selfish motive.  The libertarian / agorist political stances I take require me to take responsibility.  If I don’t want the government helping people, building and maintaining institutions, or structuring society, then voluntary organizations need to arise to do all those things in a voluntary manner.  The club just happened to be one such organization that was doing so, and one that I was invited to join by my grandfather.

And we do good work!  We genuinely help people and help organizations that help people, and we do it all with voluntary action.  I am proud of all the good things that lions do, but it’s not exactly a radical organization (and I do consider myself a radical).  I’m too timid to try to push it in that direction, mainly because I don’t think it’s my place to do so, and because putting a political slant on something that is generally a-political feels like I would be cheapening it.  I would like to expand my horizons, though, and possibly join or form another organization that does take radical agorist stances but also helps people and supports the community in which it arises.

The one thing I can’t abide at the Lions Club meetings is the pledge of allegiance.  I basically just mumble through it, considering each of the phrases and whether I could support them or not, deciding not and continuing to mumble, until we get to “with liberty and justice for all” which I put some force into.  I hope that doesn’t make me a bad person or a bad lion!  The invocation is also a little sketchy, since I don’t believe in God, but generally I can get past that.

I recommend that everyone join an organization whose sole purpose is to help those who need help.   The Lions are a good one.  I’m sure there are others.  If you know of any that are also trying to “build the structure of a new society within the shell of the old,” will you let me know?