Last week’s column

Pub­li­ca­tion: Free­dom — OCR - Pla­cen­tia News-Times; Date: March 10, 2017; Sec­tion: News; Page Num­ber: 3

Library fundrais­ing lun­cheon can pump you up

As a trustee, I’m often called upon to rep­re­sent our library at var­i­ous func­tions. I con­sider it one of my duties, to meet offi­cials and rep­re­sen­ta­tives and remind them of the library’s impor­tance in our community.

One of my favorite events is the Pla­cen­tia Library Friends Foun­da­tion Author Lun­cheon. This is our largest library fundraiser for the year, con­sist­ing of lunch at the Alta Vista Coun­try Club, a plethora of silent auc­tion items, celebrity wait­ers, and, of course, a local author.

I’ve been com­ing to the lun­cheon for quite a few years now, to sup­port the library and visit with my friends. For the past 6 years, I’ve been a celebrity waiter. I haven’t spilled cof­fee on any­one, so they keep ask­ing me back.

Usu­ally, I host a table of my friends, but this year every­one had some­where else to be, so I told the PLFF to put me where they needed me. I ended up at a table with hon­orary mem­ber Marge Boel­man, for­mer PLFF board mem­ber Carol Fiz­zard, and their guests.

In addi­tion, there was a lovely woman who vol­un­teers in the book­store. She had brought her adult daugh­ter, Mary, who wanted to talk to me about horses. It seems that, no mat­ter where I go, I end up sit­ting next to the one horse per­son in the room.

And no, I don’t always men­tion them first.

The entire pro­gram was delight­ful, from the emcee’s words about the impor­tance of libraries, to the Orange Empire Cho­rus who enter­tained us with their bar­ber­shop quar­tet, to the speaker himself.

My table seemed to enjoy them­selves. As part of the fundraiser, each table is asked to tip their celebrity wait­ers, and the table with the most tips wins a prize. It’s all about the library, so I didn’t care who won, but I tried to be a good waiter, and keep every­one stocked in iced tea and cof­fee. To earn more tips, I even offered backrubs.

My guests declined.

This year, the author was Dr. Jef­frey A. Barnes, aka “Dr. Dis­ney­land.” I admit, I had not heard of him, but there are more and more books being pub­lished, and it’s dif­fi­cult to know them all. Dr. Barnes is a pro­fes­sor, moti­va­tional speaker, and expert on all things Disney.

Even bet­ter, he can take trivia about Walt Dis­ney and turn it into a life lesson.

One of the lessons that stuck with me was about Walt’s early dream of hav­ing a park where adults and chil­dren could enjoy them­selves. Every­one around him, from his brother, Roy, to the city and bank offi­cials he approached, gave him a mil­lion rea­sons why his dream was not prac­ti­cal or feasible.

Instead of giv­ing up and find­ing a new dream, he hung onto his idea and cre­ated Disneyland.

I prob­a­bly can’t count the num­ber of ideas I’ve had that were shot down as being illog­i­cal, unnec­es­sary, or unre­al­is­tic. Each time, I’ve tossed the notion aside, let­ting pub­lic opin­ion decide whether some­thing could be achiev­able. Dr. Barnes’ speech gave me hope.

Maybe I should rethink that idea for a women’s theme park called Rag­ing Hormones.

By the time the event ended, I was euphoric from spend­ing the after­noon with my Pla­cen­tia friends and moti­vated to be as suc­cess­ful as Dis­ney. When you can do that and raise money for a good cause, every­body wins.

Long­time Pla­cen­tia res­i­dent Gayle Car­line tracks those moments that shape her days as a wife, mom, com­puter whiz and horse­woman. E-mail her at [email protected].

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