A gorgeous Sunday salutes us bringing another opportunity to make some great memories. Start early so you make the most of the day. We are unbelievably already in the middle of the month!
The weeks leading up to the Climate Fair are always very busy ones for my CATUCA colleagues and me. We meet regularly to update each other on the status of the different projects we are each responsible for. We discuss emergencies or unforeseen details that come up during the course of the weeks leading up to the actual event. We prepare contingency
plans in case something doesn’t work the way we planned once the fair is under way. After it’s all over, we meet to evaluate different aspects and usually agree that the efforts were worthwhile because the community was treated to an event that brought them quality entertainment, a variety of foods and beautiful, original crafts to see and purchase.
In order to offer the community this event without charge, we rely on membership dues; proceeds from the sale of vendor booths; volunteers who donate their time before, during and after the event; and sponsorships from businesses and public institutions in the county. The fundraising aspect is my least favorite part of the event because I (naively) believe that
anyone who has been to one of our Climate Fairs has enjoyed it so much, they will sign on to support us for the following year with little prompting and big hearts. Regardless of how I feel personally about fundraising, I do set aside time to write the letters, make the visits and follow up the progress.
The last few weeks have seen me go from hopeful to defeated regarding a small sponsorship from one of our government institutions. Our formal request was hand delivered months ago. The request was followed up personally and a verbal commitment was made at the local level. Then came phase two which is submitting documentation proving us ‘worthy’ to receive these public funds. Nothing prepared me for the endless, mindless bureaucracy we have encountered. Last week, the final blow came when our messenger returned with documentation rejected (yet again) by the civil servant whose name was stamped boldly on thefront of our letter.
I was harsh in my pronouncements regarding this person’s (whose name I used liberally) intelligence and ego. In my mind, I was even more judgmental but I reined in my thoughts when I went to speak to our local contact. He was as confused as I about the rejection and made a phone call to the person. The person was not available so he spoke
to the assistant who, it turns out, was the very person who not only rejected the documents because of ignorance regarding new regulations, but used the supervisor’s stamp to do so. I apologized to the supervisor in my mind for all the terrible things I thought and said. It remains a mystery whether or not we will get any money from this institution but I have profited by learning a lesson about jumping to conclusions, one I hope will stay with me well beyond the Climate Fair.
Have a wonderful day and a magnificent week, Marietta