I’m a new member, serving on the local public school foundation board. (Note, this is NOT the school board, but the foundation board.) Our primary responsibilities are to oversee the monies in the foundation account and ensure it’s spent accordingly–mainly through grants to teachers within the school district for classroom “extras” and a yearly scholarship for graduating seniors from the district. Occasionally, there are fund raisers to raise money for these endeavors. I’ve served on this particular board for less than a year, so I’m new to this group of people (although not to serving on non-profit and foundation boards.)
At the last quarterly meeting, it was announced that we would be conducting several fund raisers, and these would be ones that had been successful in the past–a golf tournament, a 5K run and a Gambling night.
The gambling night is a night were adults (over 21 years old) buy tickets to spend the evening drinking (beer is included with the cost of the ticket) and buying “games of chance” including scratch off tickets (all of which are purchased separately). That’s it. Different games of chance are held throughout the evening. No band, no “shrimp feast” or “bull roast” or any of the other million ways to raise money–just beer and gambling.
Neither of which I do, BTW, but hey, if that’s how someone wants to spend their money, then go for it.
Now, when I first heard this–gambling and beer night as a fund raiser for a public school district foundation–it rustled up my ethical feathers a bit (and kinda reminded me of the Catholic Charity saying thanks, but no thanks to Hooter’s raising funds), but I shut up and didn’t say anything. Partly because I’m new to the board (and don’t want to stir shit this early in the game) and partly because I didn’t have any better suggestions for a fund raiser, and partly because this was already well under way (hey, they’ve done it for several years! And it raises lots of money!). Until now…
Board members are requested to sell a minimum of 10 tickets each. When the email first came out “tickets are ready, pick them up at the school administrative office!”, I ignored the email. Another email came out earlier today for those who haven’t picked up their tickets to sell–“You know who you are”.
I have a suspicion that I’ll have to have a heart to heart talk with the President of the board’s foundation and explain that I simply don’t feel this particular fund raiser is appropriate for a school district foundation and I’m not selling tickets, and I’ll resign from the board if this is an issue. But I’m curious to see if anyone else sees this is not quite right, or if I’m in this corner by myself.