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John Brodey
BLACK FRIDAY
What a terrible name for anything unless it is a catastrophic stock market crash. A financial disaster is rather ironic inspiration for a day designed to incite the public to spend more than they can afford. Since Charles Dickens warmed the cockles of our hearts with a lesson about the true spirit of Christmas, we have become preoccupied with seeking more ways to monetize it. Presto, we now have two-month long retail feeding frenzy to satisfy our lust for more and more.
With age comes wisdom, and we are lucky to have finally reached a point where we are much more focused on what is truly important in life. Almost no one I talk to speaks of wanting to accumulate more stuff. I have all the pants, furniture, clutter, family ‘heirlooms’ (British for, no, your kids won’t want it) than I’ll ever need in my lifetime. What better time to abandon the mindless grind of consumerism than the season of giving? In truth, it’s not the act of giving that is the problem, it’s the way we have interpreted it. It’s not quantity, it’s about quality and the spirit of giving especially if we take time to think about those more in need. It lies at the heart of what we do at the Valley of the Moon club. Charitable work is a year-round mission and yet, it seems we feel a twinge of conscience especially around the holidays and yet the money we raise has to fund a year’s worth of projects. As a four-star nonprofit organization that is entirely volunteer, VOMR has a lot of competition for donations. Most of the groups we support also raise money, but it comes from a variety of sources. There are federal grants, state and county funding, private grants and of course public donations. Inevitably, public donations are the smallest percentage of their total fundraising.
In our case, 100% of our funding comes from the members of our community. From our founding 20 years ago we have had a number of fundraising efforts but none so effective as our Winter Crab Feed. It is our only source of income as we strive to fund our commitments levels. These charities count on our support. Our last event was a week before the COVID shutdown and last year’s was cancelled. We had high hopes that this year we would be able to present another fantastic evening of fun, food and charity this February. But, the issues that we still face cast serious doubt on our ability to secure our fresh crab and have an adequate serving staff and volunteers. We would also have to reduce the size of our event significantly. It seems the time is not yet right to return to that degree of normalcy. So, we will postpone the Crab Feed and work to identify some other fundraising opportunities. They will be announced in this column, and we hope that we will be able to count on you to help us continue to our efforts to ‘Do Good’.

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