Friday, July 6, 2007

Note to Self: Research Requirements for Creating a 503c Not-for-Profit...

For those who empathized over Phil the Tiger Shark's mysterious disappearance--you may be happy to discover that he is once again a part of our merry household...a cleaner Phil, a Phil that arrived in a box in the mail...from Ohio...with a packing slip and bubble wrap...

My point is: Phil is among us, again. Though mum's the word on whatever happened in Nashville...what happens to tiger sharks apparently stays with tiger sharks. Or sumthin...

Around the same time as this most-felicitous reappearance, we were over at the home of a particularly crafty friend who had MADE HER OWN LEMONADE STAND OUT OF A BROKEN PICNIC TABLE. She lives on the perfect street for such a commercial endeavor and an hour later, at one thin quarter per cup, the boys were collectively $14 dollars in the green.

Now, Ben had already decided that his share of the libation-booty would be donated to The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation. (This after we discussed the importance of GRASS ROOTS FUNDRAISING and where best an eleven year old boy might make a difference to creatures of the sea.) What was interesting, though, was how many of the other boys ultimately agreed to donate to Ben's pet project as skills be damned! You have to respect the passion and knowledge my son brings to the table when he is interested in something (ten years later, I am beginning to see the positive side to all of that passionate emotion and energy that toddler of mine possessed!). All the children involved had seen Ben running down Maple Avenue behind every car that passed, shouting:

"Do you care about the health of our oceans?!? Do you want your grandchildren to be able to see dolphins someday or are you willing to see dolphins GO THE WAY OF THE DODO?!? Do you UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR HEALTH IS CONNECTED TO THE HEALTH OF OUR OCEANS??????? THEN DON'T BE A DODO!!! BUY SOME LEMONADE!!!"

You could see it on the faces of his business partners: THAT is a kind of lunacy that I cannot duplicate, but can RESPECT!

The only financial holdout was James, his own brother, who wanted to put his $2 towards a launching Poke-ball.

"Dodo! Dodo! Dodo!" Ben hissed periodically for the rest of the evening...

Cue: our dinner table, a couple of evenings later.

"I want to make more money for the Riverhead Foundation," my son told me excitedly. "After dinner, can we build our own lemonade stand?"

"Exhausting as that sounds," I answered brightly, "no!"

(If it weren't so irritating, I would be daily touched by my children's near bottomless well of belief in my many abilities...)

But then the wheels started turning. "What about this?" I asked. "You've been working on creating a storybook of your pictures of Phil and Hamtoro. What if we had ten turned into books through iPhoto (the little books are only about $5 apiece) and we try to SELL THEM as a fundraiser? And then, we could send the profits from your books to The Riverhead Foundation (which would require some math)! AND! We could count this as part of your school requirements for art, science and technology!"

I will do just about ANYTHING to avoid manual labor...

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