by Brendan Smith
Weirs Times Editor
I really have to do a better job of researching things before I schedule something.
But really, who has the time?
Next Friday, March 20th, has been designated “Fresh Air Fund Day’ by Governor Hassan. The Fresh Air Fund is a great program that gives thousands of inner-city kids the chance get away from the chaotic streets of New York to enjoy a few weeks in the Lakes Region and other tourist crazed areas of the state during the summer.
A press release on the designation of “Fresh Air Fund Day” says that “the program gives children a chance to run barefoot through the grass or gaze at the star-filled skies.”
I think the Fresh Air Fund is a great idea. Such a great idea, in fact, that years ago it inspired me to start my own program. I call it “The Air Is A Little Bit Better Here Than Where I Come From” Fund or TAIALBBHTWICF Fund.
The idea behind TAIALBBHTWICF Fund is to give upper middle class and upper class folks who are too busy to book a few weeks at an exquisite lakeside home for their summer vacation an acceptable place to go; a place they won’t be embarrassed to tell their neighbors and colleagues about upon their return.
Having been way too busy and waited until the last possible second to reserve a spot on the lake, they often find themselves stuck with nowhere to go except maybe a completely unacceptable condo rental with only two bathrooms and a (gasp) pull out bed for company.
This, of course, just won’t cut it.
TAIALBBHTWICF Fund was established to help those in such dire straits find an acceptable solution. Not wanting them to spend their summer stuck in their gated communities while their neighbors are off for the summer at a famous vacation spot for the well-to-do and then having to face the phony sympathetic words and behind the back whispers within their own communities once summer is over, we help them save face by working our hardest to find a place on the lakes or ocean that is suitable for their unforgiving lifestyles.
TAIALBBHTWICF Fund has been so successful over the years that we have planned our annual fundraising gala for this Friday, March 13th, at an undisclosed location so as to keep out the riff-raff.
That is why I was a bit taken by surprise to see the designation of March 20th as Fresh Air Fund Day. I certainly didn’t mean to step on any toes and try to steal their spotlight. They do good work as well.
I was even slightly embarrassed to read that our press release, which was sent to a limited few in the media like Barron’s and The Wall Street Journal, was eerily reminiscent of the one sent out about Fresh Air Fund Day saying things like: “We are looking for those with luxurious homes who are willing to rent them out, for big bucks, to give some well to do, yet vacation needy families, a chance to run their properly sandaled feet through finely manicured lawns or to gaze at star filled skies unencumbered by nuisance lights from neighbors who are way too close.”
If I had known that TAIALBBHTWICF Fund event was going to be so close to the Fresh Air Fund event I never would have scheduled it in the first place. In fact, I did consider rescheduling it but the families who had already begrudgingly accepted my invitation to be part of this fundraising event have made it clear that any other day would now be an annoyance as it would interfere with their busy schedule of business meetings and reservations that have already been made at busy, hard to get a table at, restaurants.
I’m hoping that there won’t be much confusion with the dates so close together either. I would hate to think that someone whose intent is to contribute to the Fresh Air Fund mistakenly directs their donations toward us instead. If that does happen we will, of course, do the right thing, whatever that is.
I am planning to do better research next year and maybe even coordinate things with the Fresh Air Fund so that these dates don’t clash again. Maybe I will even be able to convince the governor that next year we could have a day just for TAIALBBHTWICF Fund. We didn’t donate to her last campaign, so I realize I will have some persuading to do.
Brendan’s new book “The Best Of A F.O.O.L in New Hampshire” will be published in early spring.