Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Trivia Night--Fundraising Aussie Style

Even though I've lived here in Australia for about 10 years, there are still events that I attend that make me feel as if I've just arrived. The Trivia Night at our daughter's Kindergarten (preschool in the USA) was one such event. This is how it went...

Several weeks ago, we got a flyer from the Kindergarten announcing the Trivia Night would be held as the major fundraising event of the year. Since most Kindergartens here in Australia are community operated or at the very least, underfunded by the Government, they must do a significant amount of fundraising to stay operational. The Kindergarten our daughter attends, while exceptional, has been under poor financial management for the past few years and is really struggling. This Trivia Night was to be the main source of supplemental income for the school during this calendar year. As such, the Handsome Australian and I wanted to do as much as we could to help make the event a success.

Tickets to the event were available on a pre-sale basis only and you were asked to book a table of 8-10 people. So I sent out an e-mail pleading our case to some of our closest and most intelligent friends--because we planned to win!! I was pleased to see there was a bit of enthusiasm amongst our peeps and we organised what looked like a very promising brain trust. I booked our table and then started to think about the catering.

The instructions for the night were that the event was BYO drinks and nibbles. As an incentive to our friends to come along on the night, I promised I'd provide all the drinks and nibbles. As this was an event taking place in Australia, I assumed by drinks they meant of the alcoholic variety and I was pretty sure this is what my friends would be expecting. Then the American in me crept in and pointed out that this was a fundraiser for a preschool--a religiously affiliated preschool at that--and perhaps it wasn't appropriate to bring alcohol along to the event. I was a bit perplexed. So I asked the Handsome Australian what he thought and he was pretty certain that alcoholic drinks were indeed acceptable beverages for the evening. No worries then, we'd stock up on beer and bubbles and I'd put together some chips and dips and maybe a brownie or two.

On the evening of the event, it occurred to us that in order to provide drinks for our entire table, we were going to need a large esky (that's an ice chest or cooler for those of you in the USA) to transport and cool the drinks through the evening. So again I asked the Handsome Australian about the protocol of lugging an entire esky of alcoholic drinks into the Hall at the Church that is affiliated with our daughter's Kinder. Would that be too over the top? Was it wrong? I had so many doubts that the Handsome Australian began to doubt the process himself. Perhaps an esky full of alcohol was a bit too much--it wasn't a frat party or a cricket match after all, it was a fundraiser for our daughter's Kindy.

So we hatched a plan, we decided that we'd take the esky full of drinks and leave it in the car. Once inside the venue we'd assess the situation and see what other people were doing and if it was appropriate, we'd rescue the esky from the car and if it wasn't we'd leave it there and every one would be none the wiser.

As we pulled into the parking lot of the Church, we saw blokes carrying eskies. It wasn't just one bloke carrying one esky, it was two blokes per esky. In other words, the eskies were so laden with beverages that they were too heavy for one man to carry. It was on for young and old folks, on for young and old. The Handsome Australian was pleased to see he wouldn't be making multiple trips to the car, and was disappointed that he'd doubted himself.

"What was I thinking?" he muttered. "This is Australia, of course there will be eskies full of beer."

And with that, he and his handsome brother pulled the esky out of our boot and lugged it inside where the evening got off to a promising start...

8 comments:

Annelise said...

TEASE!
And I would have had same plan for the cooler (that's eske for you Austarlians). ;)

Nikki said...

Well, that certainly wouldn't happen at Vista Hills--men carrying in their own ice chests full of suds, but I imagine after such fund raisers/programs, many parents/grandparents of Vista Hills students dash madly to the nearest bar/pub/cafe/restaurant to indulge in their own choice of refreshment. Perhaps to get over the agony of having to sit through another program.

Dorian Speed said...

Um, I want to visit on Trivia Night. I'm not bad on Pop Culture and Church History.

Rita said...

We need to do that again, I had a blast! I miss being social :)

suzinoz said...

@ Annelise--More to come soon...great minds think alike!

@ Nikki--I'm sure this is a ritual that happens the world over. The Aussies are just a bit more up front about it! =)

@ Dorian--Would love to have you on a Trivia Night and would have thought you'd have been a formidable addition to our brain trust, but we'd have been mistaken as you'll learn in the next post.

@ Rita--Let's organise a night of Trivia on our own terms!! I'll be in touch.

Lisa in Oz said...

Heh, the last Trivia Night I went to (also at a religious primary school), probably 80% of the attendees got totally wasted. Aussies have a very different outlook on school events lol.

suzinoz said...

@ Lisa--Yes they do and as long as I've lived here, I still find it odd.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

I'm still surprised when I see booze at any and every event...