Taking the fun out of fund-raising

Actually the above heading is almost a quote from one of my novels, but I did get my hatred of fund-raising (including but not limited to ‘fun’ days, open days, Christmas fairs and providing refreshments for people who have been at Christmas tree-lighting ceremonies) from real life. Today I’ve been at a ‘fun’ day. Before it had even opened, one of the helpers had already said ‘Never again’ in no uncertain terms, and I must admit if I hadn’t wanted to be at least slightly supportive of the person who organised the whole thing, I would have expressed whole-hearted agreement. But in a year or so’s time, when the ghastly day-long jamboree that is the local fair comes round, I expect we will all be there in the local park wrestling with a gazebo in gale-force winds, and complaining that we’ve got too many, or not enough, or the wrong kind of burgers. As far as I’m concerned, there isn’t a right kind of burger anyway. I’ve been fighting on the committee for at least 10 years to serve some other kind of food at the local fair, but without success. We vegetarian asthmatics are a rare breed and I am the only representative of my kind!

Still, I usually try to look on the bright side, and I must admit that serving on the committee has enabled me to collect a good many characters for my mystery novels, and even the dreaded ‘fun’ days have given me some material for fiction. In fact it was the imminence of this event that inspired me to add a craft fair to the work in progress. Taking part in a fund-raising event of any kind can lead to all sorts of interesting personality clashes, and is a good opportunity to observe people at their most annoying worst, so naturally they constitute essential research for anyone who writes about murders and so on. Only today I’ve added a few more irritating characteristics to my collection of people’s flaws! So in that sense it was well worth going along.


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