And I can finally have my life back! The preparations for the big fish fry last night has consumed all of my time for the last several weeks. Those of you who read regularly will remember that we planned this in order to raise money for one of my fellow police officers whose 9 yr old daughter had to have a bone marrow transplant. She is doing well and they are hopeful that she will make a full recovery. But the officer's wife had to leave her job to care full time for their daughter which will create quite a financial strain for the family. The community was so generous. Not only did they come out to support us last night but their giving spirit was amazing. Almost all of our food was donated except for the fish and sausage which was still at a discounted price. This is the hallway where our raffles and silent auction were set up. We had so many really nice items donated. Everything from autographed sports memorabilia, food and shopping gift certificates, jewelry, amusement park tickets, airline tickets, a bike, expensive lotions, perfume and cosmetic baskets, leather coats.... everything. You name it, we had it. The raffle stretched from one end of the hallway to the other.
These were the before shots when we were still setting up that afternoon. Look at all that stuff!
I'm curious to find out our numbers when they're all counted up but I bet there were at least 500 people there. It was a packed house. That hallway was so congested that people were elbow to elbow. Here's a shot of the cafeteria once things got rolling.
Here's a pic of the gym completely empty before we got started.
Now look at it. There were people all over this place. In the gym, cafeteria, up and down the hallways. Everyone had a great time. Many people told us that this was the biggest and best fish fry they'd ever been to.
I was in charge of a liquor raffle. I affectionately refered to these girls as my liquor b!tches. These are actually my best friend Lisa and my other good friend TT. We worked as a team and walked through the crowd raffling off a bottle of liquor. I held up the bottle and yelled over the crowd to get people's attention, while TT handed over the buyer's raffle tickets and Lisa collected their money. I've done this for Lisa before at her church's annual fish fry and it was always a great money maker. But it only took one of us. We decided after about the first 30 seconds of selling that we needed to team up because there were just so many people and it would've taken all night to get through the crowd doing it alone. As it was with our assembly line technique it still took us nearly an hour to get through the whole place with each bottle.
We did 5 bottles throughout the night. We made almost $500 bucks. You can tell by our shiny, sweaty faces that it was a hot and exhausting job. My voice was just about gone at the end of the night. We even had a band! This pic below is the "Cop'rz". They're a group of police officers who play the DARE concerts for kids in schools and other community relations events. This is a pic of them drawing a raffle winner.
The night was a ton of work but in the end was a great success. Both the officer and his wife along with some of their extended family were able to come out and join us for awhile which was nice. They were very touched by everything that we did. And there wasn't a dry eye in the house when the grandma got up and spoke to thank everyone. She was the only one composed enough to speak but then she got choked up too and couldn't finish. That moment made all this work so very worth it. Our profit from the night was just over $19,000!!! And that doesn't include our pre-sale ticket profit and all the private donations that came in these last couple of months. We sold 655 pre-sale tickets!! I wonder how many people we had walk in at the door. I can't wait to see what our attendance numbers are. I'm very excited to see just how much we're able to give the family after our expenses are figured and we total everything up. We did a good thing! And that makes all the bumps in the road, the stress, the fights, the hard work, exhaustion, lost voice and aching feet so very very very worth it.