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The Joy of Popcorn Fridays

Small-business owners use their skills to streamline an activity to raise funds for San Juan Elementary.

The weekend begins once I pick up the kids from. Because it’s Friday, I have $3 in hand to purchase kids No. 1, 2 and 3 their own bags of popcorn and juice. I know to bring the money because it’s Popcorn Friday.

Whatever marketing team exists for Popcorn Friday has conditioned me to have my money ready to bring joy, happiness and peace to my children at the end of a long school week. It’s true. On the days that I’ve forgotten to bring the $3, there have been Friday meltdowns that have ruined entire weekends.

Popcorn Friday is an easy way for school PTAs to raise money. With years of shrinking budgets, schools depend on their PTAs to provide after-school enrichment classes. A 50-cent bag of popcorn could help support a future Picasso or Einstein. The power of corn.

Owners of BallPark Pizza in Laguna Niguel, Heather and Andrew Markie,  have mastered the art of volunteering. They've taken their experiences running a small business and used it to help San Juan Elementary make Popcorn Friday a PTA fundraising success.

They streamlined the production process already in place and turned what had been a cumbersome and very tedious task into a well-buttered profit-making machine. We’re talking hour after hour of popping popcorn. No thanks. Here’s my $3.

They are a great example of what volunteering should be: using what they already knew how to do and plugging it into an area that needed their skills.

“My child is going to be older for longer than she is young. I want to enjoy her being young as much as possible. And because we have the flexibility to adjust our schedules and help out our school, why wouldn’t we?” Heather told me recently.

You know what else the Markies do? They sell the popcorn and drinks car to car while parents drive up to pick up their kids. That's genius! No getting out of your car. Just scrounge up that extra change from what used to be an ashtray and hand it over. In return, you will have a bag of popcorn, a drink and happy kids with the promise of a great weekend. It works for me every time.

Penny Arévalo January 17, 2011 at 03:21 PM
Car-side service? Now THAT'S genius!

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